Castor sugar or superfine sugar may not be readily available. It is not powdered sugar. If you cannot find it, put regular white sugar in blender and process until finer in texture for better blending. You can add up to a tsp of vanilla to the whipped egg whites, but the pavlova will be not as white as a finished dish. The final meringue should be crispy on the outside and a bit marshmallow chewy on the inside. A wonderful dessert. Mine fell and cracked as I feel my oven temp is not regulated properly. I also made the meringue a day ahead. I would recommend making it same day as to be served.
1Preheat oven to 275 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and draw an 8 inch circle as a guide for the pavlova. Turn paper over so pencil is facing down. Sprinkle a small amount of extra corn starch lightly on the circle so pavlova does not stick.
2When separating eggs, be careful there is NO yolk in the whites as this will keep whites from beating properly. In a large very clean bowl, beat whites and pinch of salt til glossy and softly peak. Do not overbeat. Add the superfine sugar 1 tbsp at a time until mixture makes firm, glossy peaks, but is not dry. Sift cornstarch softly over whites and fold in with lemon juice and vanilla.
3Spoon mixture over circle, mounding in center and then spread outward to make a circle with a slight depression in the center. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven and cool in oven for 2 hours. Store in airtight container. Best if served the same day. If it cracks or sinks, fill with cream when finishing just before serving.
4Remove parchment paper and place pavlova on cake stand or plate for serving. Just before serving, beat the cream with the powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla. Fill depression across the top of pavlova with the whipped cream and sprinkle cream with your choice of fruit. Sliced strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, raspberries, fresh pineapple, passionfruit or what you like. Do not add cream and fruit ahead of time as will make the meringue soggy.