Recipe by Jen Bates for Wyman's
Note: If using Champagne or Prosecco reduce sugar to ¼ cup
Preheat oven to 275°F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. On the underside of the parchment paper draw either 1 6-inch circle or 6 3-inch circles, then place in the pan and set aside.
In a non-reactive bow whip the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt together to medium-stiff peaks. Put the mixer on low and slowly drizzle in the water, then the sugar. Return the mixer to high speed and whip until stiff peaks.
Mound the meringue in the center of the circle(s), and use your spatula to create any desired designs. Using an upwards pull motion will form a design similar to the pictures. Do not worry about hollowing out the center as it will 'fall'.
If doing one large pavlova, bake for 60 minutes then reduce heat to 250°F and bake for another 45 minutes. If doing multiple smaller pavlovas cook for 30 minutes at 275°F and then reduce to 250°F and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Avoid the temptation to open the oven at any time. When baking is done turn off the oven (still don't open the door), and turn on an oven light if you have one. Allow to sit for at least an hour and up to overnight.
Shortly before serving, add Wyman's Dark Sweet & Red Tart Cherries to a pan with the sugar and cook, stirring often, till the cherries are fully defrosted, the sugar is dissolved, and a thick sauce has formed. Remove from heat and add Champagne if using.In a separate bowl, whip the cream and vanilla to stiff peaks.
To assemble you may need to cut the top of the pavlova (like a pumpkin lid), but the center should be hollow. This will allow you to fill it with whipped cream and top with the cherry sauce. Serve immediately.