You can't have Christmas in Australia without a good old pavlova, you just can't.
December 25 down under is typically hot - high 20s to 30s in most places and 35+ at times. It's hot and the last thing you feel like eating is steamed pudding!
So when lunch is over, your make up is running down your face from the humidity and you're sweating through your clothes, nothing beats a fresh pavlova topped with some chilled fruit and cream.
Many people have trouble making pavlova but I've never had a bad one using Donna Hay's recipe. The trick is patience. You need to take your time beating the mixture (it takes longer than you expect) and you need to be patient with the cooking and cool down. I always cook the pav, switch off the oven and forget about it for a couple of hours - leave it sitting in the until the oven and cake are cool.
The other upside of this dessert is if it doesn't turn out exactly right - if it's dry and not chewy on the inside, or of you cooked it too long - you just crush it up, mix it with your fruit and cream and call it Eaton Mess.