Delicate and creamy, this pear-topped pavlova makes an elegant dessert for company. I prepare the filling using the maple syrup I buy from a local farm.—Diane Nemitz, Ludington, Michigan
VERIFIED BY Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup ground pecans
- 1-1/3 cups half-and-half cream
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 8 canned pear halves in juice, well-drained
- Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Trace a 9-in. circle on the parchment paper; invert paper.
- Preheat oven to 275°. Add cream of tartar to egg whites; beat on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high after each addition until sugar is dissolved. Continue beating until stiff glossy peaks form. Fold in pecans.
- Spread meringue over circle, shaping a shallow well in center using the back of a spoon. Bake 45-50 minutes or until set and dry. Turn off oven (do not open oven door); leave meringue in oven 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat cream until bubbles form around sides of pan. In a small bowl, whisk 1/2 cup maple syrup, egg, egg yolk, brown sugar and cornstarch until blended but not foamy. Slowly whisk in hot cream. Return all to pan; cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and a thermometer reads 170°. Immediately transfer to a clean bowl. Cool 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Press plastic wrap onto surface of filling; refrigerate until cold.
- Remove meringue from oven; cool completely on baking sheet. Preheat broiler. Thinly slice wide end of each pear, leaving stem end attached. Blot dry. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet; spread slices to fan. Brush pears with remaining maple syrup. Broil 3-4 in. from heat 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely.
- To serve, remove meringue from paper; place on a serving plate. Fill with maple cream. Arrange cooled pears over top. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Pear & Maple Cream Pavlova in Taste of Home Christmas Annual Annual 2014