Pavlova: Salted meringue and golden pear crunch stack

INGREDIENTS

  • 7 egg whites
  • 380g (1 3/4 cups) caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt flakes
  • 500g mascarpone
  • 600ml double cream
  • 3 x 50g Cadbury Crunchie bars, coarsely chopped

GOLDEN PEAR

  • 125ml (1/2 cup) golden syrup
  • 2 small Beurre Bosc pears, cut into 2-3mm thick slices (top to base, skin and core intact)
  • 30g butter, chopped

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 120C/100C fan forced. Draw five 20cm circles on 5 sheets of baking paper. Place the baking paper, pencil-side down, on 5 baking trays.
  2. Use electric beaters to beat the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until firm peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until sugar dissolves and the mixture is thick and glossy. Beat in the salt.
  3. Spread the meringue evenly among prepared circles. Use a palette knife to smooth the surfaces. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until crisp. Turn oven off. Leave meringues in oven, with door ajar, to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, for the golden pears, line a baking tray with baking paper. Heat half the golden syrup in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat until mixture just comes to a simmer.
  5. Add half the pear slices and cook for 3-4 minutes each side or until golden and translucent. Use tongs to carefully transfer to prepared tray. Set aside to cool (pears will be sticky).
  6. Repeat with the remaining syrup and pears.
  7. Add the butter to the remaining syrup in the pan and stir until melted and smooth.
  8. Cool.
  9. Place the mascarpone and cream in a large bowl and use a balloon whisk to whisk until soft peaks form.
  10. Place 1 meringue disc on a serving plate. Spread with one-fifth of the mascarpone mixture.
  11. Scatter with a little of the chopped Crunchie bars. Continue layering with remaining meringue discs, mascarpone mixture and Crunchie, finishing with the Crunchie.
  12. Top with the sliced pear and drizzle with pear syrup.

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