Preheat the oven to cool, 140°C (275°F) (gas 1).
In a clean, grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites until just stiff.
Gradually whisk in 170 g (6 oz) (¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon) of the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition until the meringue is stiff and glossy.
Sift the cream of tartare and cornflour into the bowl. Sprinkle over the vanilla. Whisk until just combined.
Cut a sheet of baking parchment to fit a large baking sheet. Draw a 24 cm (9½ inch) oval onto the paper. Dab a little meringue in each corner of the baking sheet to secure the paper and stop it moving. Then place the paper on the baking sheet with the marked side facing down.
Spread the meringue inside the marked oval shape. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes.
Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar.
Meanwhile prepare fruits. Cut larger fruits into slices or segments. Cut any orange segments free from their connecting tissue with a small, sharp knife. You want to end up with all the fruits being of a similar size. Place them in a bowl as you prepare them.
Sprinkle the fruit with the remaining sugar and, if making a winter pavlova, add the Cointreau. Allow to soak for 1 hour before serving.
Carefully peel the paper off the pavlova then place it on a flat serving dish.
Whip the cream until it will hold a soft peak and then spread over the meringue.
Carefully spoon the fruit on top.
If you enjoyed this recipe, you might like to try these other pavlovas: