Heat the oven to 150c/fan 130c/gas 2. Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment. Put the egg whites in a large, clean bowl and beat them with an electric whisk or mixer at a slow speed. Once they are looking frothy increase the speed to medium and whisk until you have a stiff foam that stands upright on the beaters. Don’t overbeat or the egg whites will look fluffy and lumpy.
Whisk in the sugar a tablespoon at a time on high speed and keep whisking until you have a stiff, glossy meringue – this can take up to 10 minutes. The sugar should be fully dissolved by this point.
Spoon the meringue onto the baking paper using a large metal spoon. You can either make 12 large ones or 24 smaller ones (if you plan to sandwich them together with whipped cream). Don’t worry about the shape, just smooth down any really spiky bits with a wetted finger (if you want to make mini pavlovas then shape each meringue blob into a nest shape with a teaspoon). Put the meringues in the oven and turn the heat down to 140c/fan 120c/gas 1 and cook for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and leave them to cool in the oven.