Pavlova with spiced pears and salted caramel sauce
Pavlova with spiced pears and salted caramel sauceSubscribe to Sainsbury's magazine
You can make and freeze this pavlova, so all you have to do is defrost and assemble to serve. This recipe makes more spiced pears than you’ll need for this pudding, but they keep well and make a handy last minute sweet treat, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream
For the spiced pears (fills 2 x 750ml clip-top jars)
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 1.5kg small, firm pears
- 300g golden or white granulated sugar
- 1 star anise
- 8 green cardamom pods, cracked open
- 2 small cinnamon sticks
For the pavlova
- 6 large egg whites
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- 350g caster sugar
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 75g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped
- 1 x 300ml pot whipping or double cream
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 100ml salted caramel sauce, warmed
- 20g toasted flaked almonds
- Fill a large bowl with water and add the lemon juice and the squeezed lemon shells. Peel, quarter and core the pears and add them to the lemon water to stop them from browning.
- Preheat the oven to 150°C, fan 130°C, gas 2. Put the sugar, 1 litre of water and the spices into a pan and bring to the boil. Lift the pears out of the lemon water, add to the boiling syrup and bring back to the boil. If the pears are very under-ripe, simmer for up to 2 minutes, until only just tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Using a draining spoon, quickly transfer the pears to 2 x 750ml sterilised clip-top jars (see the chutney recipe, left, for sterilising instructions). Pour over enough of the hot syrup to cover, distributing the spices equally between the jars and leaving 1cm of headroom from the top rim. Loosely close the lids, but don’t clip them shut. Stand them in a baking tin and cook in the oven for 1 hour.
- Wearing oven gloves, remove the jars from the oven, carefully seal while still hot. Leave to cool, then check the seal and store in a cool dark place for up to 1 month.
- For the pavlova, preheat the oven to 170°C, fan 150°C, gas 3. Draw a 23cm disc onto a sheet of baking paper (use a cake tin as a template) and flip over onto a sturdy baking tray, so that the pencil mark is underneath. Put the egg whites and cream of tartar into a clean large mixing bowl and whisk to soft peaks on a medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and whisk in the sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking for about 10 seconds between each addition. Once all the sugar has been added, whisk the meringue for a further 3 minutes on high speed until stiff and glossy. Whisk in the cornflour and vinegar until combined.
- Secure the paper to the tray with a few dabs of meringue mixture at the corners. Spoon the pavlova mixture into the centre of the marked disc and spread out to the edges, swirling the mixture attractively and making a slight dip in the centre. Slide the pavlova into the oven, immediately lower the oven temperature to 120°C, fan 100°C, gas 1⁄2 and bake for 11⁄4 hours. Without opening the door, turn off the oven and leave it to cool overnight. The next day, carefully release the pavlova from the paper, then lift it, still on its paper, into a rigid lidded plastic box to protect it from breakage, and freeze for up to 1 month.
- To serve, remove the pavlova from the freezer, lift off the paper and place on a flat serving plate. Leave it to come back to room temperature (about 30 minutes). Meanwhile, melt the chocolate (in the microwave or over a small pan of barely simmering water) and leave to cool to room temperature. Whip the cream and cinnamon into soft peaks and spoon into the centre of the pavlova. Top with some of the spiced pears (drained of excess syrup), drizzle with the salted caramel sauce, melted chocolate and scatter with the flaked almonds. Serve straight away, before the pavlova softens too much.