cherry pavlova

recipe meringue piped into individual nests
1 recipe pastry cream or vanilla pudding
1 recipe fresh whipped cream
fruit of choice

pastry cream
6 large egg yolks
5 Tbs cornstarch
2 1/2 cups milk ( i used 2%)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbs unsalted butter

2 cups pitted fresh cherries
1/4 cup sugar
juice of 1 large lime
1 Tbs cherry herring liqueur (optional)
for pastry cream:  Whisk the egg yolks and the cornstarch in a bowl. set aside.  In a saucepan, simmer milk, sugar and salt.  Once it is simmering, temper the eggs with the hot milk.  Return to the saucepan and whisk continuously until the custard begins to thicken.  Once you see large bubbles coming up through the middle of the pot, remove from heat. Pour into a clean bowl (use a sieve if you feel you have overcooked), and stir in butter and vanilla.  Place clingfilm over top and refrigerate until ready to use.  
for the fruit:  Place cherries, sugar, lime and liqueur into a small saucepot.  Place over low heat and allow to simmer until a nice syrup forms and cherries are softened.  Allow to cool until ready to use.
Whip cream with a bit of confectioner's sugar and vanilla to taste.  
When ready to put together, take a bit of the whipped cream and whisk it into the custard to soften it up a bit, it will give it a nice creamy consistency.This is also a great filling for cream puffs.

Fill the meringue nest with the custard.  Top with the fruit and then place a generous dollop of cream on top.