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Maple, pear & blackberry pavlova
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By Martha Collison
5 British Blacktail Free Range Medium Egg whites
300g golden caster sugar
2 large conference pears
2 tbsp No.1 Maple Syrup No.1 Medium, plus extra to serve
450ml double cream
5g organic hazelnuts
150g pack speciality blackberries
Mint leaves, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 120ºC, gas mark ½ and line a large baking tray with baking parchment. Put the egg whites in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk until they form stiff peaks.
2. Carefully whisk the sugar into the egg whites, adding a spoonful at a time and letting each one fully mix in before adding the next.
3. When all the sugar has been added, turn the mixer speed up and whisk for 8-10 minutes more, or until the mixture is thick and glossy. If you rub a small amount between your fingers, you shouldn’t be able to feel any grains of sugar. If it still feels gritty, continue to whisk for a few more minutes until it feels smooth.
4. Spoon the meringue onto the prepared baking tray and spread into a rectangle shape about 20x30cm in size. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes-2 hours, then turn the oven off and allow the meringue to cool completely before removing.
5. Preheat the oven again, to 200ºC, gas mark 6 and line a small baking tray with baking parchment. Halve both pears, core and then thinly slice them lengthwise. Toss in 1 tbsp of the maple syrup and arrange on the baking tray. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until beginning to caramelise, then remove and allow to cool completely.
6. When ready to serve, whip the cream with the remaining 1 tbsp maple syrup until it reaches soft peaks, and roughly chop the hazelnuts (feel free to remove the skin or use ready-blanched nuts, if preferred). Spread the cream loosely over the cooled meringue, then top with the pears, blackberries and hazelnuts. Finish with a few mint leaves and a final drizzle of maple syrup before serving.
Martha’s tip Once you’ve topped the pavlova with cream, it will begin to soften, so is best served straight away. To start it in advance, bake the meringue up to 48 hours before it’s needed, then wrap in foil or put in an airtight container. Store in a cool, dry place, then add the topping just before serving.
Typical values per serving: