Pavlova desserts, light on the inside and crunchy on the outside, are a delightful way to end a meal on a far-from-heavy note. Our easy pavlova recipe is topped with whipped cream, fresh berries, and mint for one of the prettiest combos of pavlova toppings ever.
Allow egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Draw a 9-inch circle on the paper or foil. Invert paper or foil so the circle is on the reverse side.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. For meringue, in a large mixing bowl beat egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Add the 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Beat in lemon juice and vanilla. Sift cornstarch over egg white mixture; using a rubber spatula, gently fold cornstarch into egg white mixture.
Spread meringue over circle on paper or foil, building up edges slightly to form a shell. Bake for 1 1/2 hours (do not open door). Turn off oven; let meringue dry in oven with door closed for 1 hour.
For filling, 20 minutes before serving, clean, hull, and slice the strawberries. Place strawberries in a large bowl. Toss berries with the 2 tablespoons sugar. Tear mint leaves; gently stir mint into strawberry mixture. Let stand for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl beat the whipping cream and creme fraiche with an electric mixer on medium speed (or beat with a whisk or rotary beater) until soft peaks form (tips curl).
Place meringue shell on a large platter. Spread the cream mixture into the meringue shell. Spoon the strawberry mixture over the cream mixture. Serve immediately.