2Tbspsugarsuperfine baker's sugar or cane sugar will do
½tspvanilla paste or vanilla extract
2cupsstrawberrieshulled and sliced
squeeze of lemon juice
Mini Pavlova Meringues
Using a cup or biscuit cutter, trace six 2-inch circles on a sheet of parchment paper, about 2 inches apart. Turn the parchment paper upside down on a baking sheet so you can still see the circles. Preheat the oven to 275°F.
Mix sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl and set aside.
To ensure your mixer bowl is completely clean, wipe your bowl with a tiny bit of vinegar. Then use a paper towel to wipe it dry.
In the bowl of the stand mixer or with a hand mixer, whisk the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on medium-low speed until soft peaks form. Increase the speed to medium-high and slowly pour in the sugar and cornstarch mixture. Add the vanilla extract and whip on high speed until stiff, shiny peaks form.
Use a spatula or spoon to dollop the whipped meringue into mounds on the circles of your parchment paper and shape them as desired. Use the back of a spoon to press a small indent in the center of each meringue.
Bake for 55-70 minutes, or until the meringues are dry and slightly crisp to the touch, but not browned or cracked (the moisture in the air can make this take up to 10 minutes longer on a rainy day! Keep a close eye on them). Let cool on a cooling rack before topping and serving. Meanwhile make the cheesecake mousse as below.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, whisk the cream on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream to a mixing bowl and set aside.
Without cleaning the stand mixer bowl, add the cream cheese, sugar, salt, and vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed using the paddle attachment until soft and smooth. With the mixer on medium-low speed, slowly add the whipped cream, a little bit at a time and fold just until completely smooth. Chill while the meringues bake.
While the baked meringues cool, prepare the macerated strawberries. Add the vanilla bean scrapings to the sugar and use your hands to massage the seeds into the sugar.
Pour the sugar over the strawberries and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Toss and set aside for 10 minutes before serving.
When ready to serve, divide the cheesecake mousse over the top of each individual baked meringue. Spoon strawberries and their juices over the pavlovas and serve immediately.