RECIPE: Sumptuous Pear and Pomegranate Pavlova

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Bluedot Living will regularly run recipes and tips from Pascale Beale, the popular Santa Barbara-based chef, teacher, and cookbook author.

Beale has long been a proponent of cooking with in-season ingredients. “Every season has its own stars, I believe it’s worth waiting for them,” Beale told Bluedot contributing editor Catherine Walthers in this conversation

She is also passionate about using every last bit of food in your pantry, and in her regular cooking classes (available online), she stresses to make the most of what you’ve already got. “There is so, so much food waste,” she told Walthers. “Learn to make the most of leftovers, the carcass from a roast chicken kept to make stock for example. I like to do something called a TDF (Tour de Frigidaire), something made out of all the little bits and pieces left in the fridge.”

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Pear and Pomegranate Pavlova

RECIPE: Sumptuous Pear and Pomegranate Pavlova


  • Author: Pascale Beale
  • Yield: Serves 8 to 12 1x

Description

This recipe originally appeared on Beale’s website, where she wrote:

I first made Pavlova with my good friend Michael. He had his Mum’s recipe and it was fabulous. I’ve since become slightly addicted to this dessert. In fact, last summer could have been called the Summer of the Sunday Pavlova. We continued to make it throughout the year, trying a multitude of fruit combinations. Then we struck on pears and pomegranate seeds. Oh my! This is a stunning winter dessert. Thank you, Michael, for introducing me to this scrumptious, ethereal pudding.”


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 egg whites at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 oz ultra-fine sugar (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons)*
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups of cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 to 4 pears — peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Seeds of 1 pomegranate  

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Draw a 9-inch circle on parchment paper, using a compass or dinner plate. Place the parchment paper on a baking sheet with drawn circle side down.
  3. Using a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until satiny peaks form. Then beat in the ultra-fine sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until the meringue is stiff and shiny.  Sprinkle the cornstarch, vinegar and vanilla over the whipped egg whites. Fold in lightly using a rubber spatula. 
  4. Mound the meringue mixture onto the parchment paper and spread it to the edge of the circle. Flatten the top and smooth the sides. 
  5. Place the meringue on the bottom rack of the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 250 degrees. Bake for 1¼ hours.  Turn off the oven. Let the meringue cool with the door slightly ajar. Remove from oven when the meringue has cooled completely.
  6. Whip the cream with the sugar until it forms soft peaks. Top the meringue with whipped cream.
  7. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sugar and the pear slices. Cook until golden and caramelized. Let cool in the pan.
  8. When the pear slices are cool, place them on top of the whipped cream. Top with pomegranate seeds.

Notes

*To make ultra-fine sugar, process granulated white sugar in food processor for 1 minute.

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Pascale Beale
Pascale Beale
Pascale Beale grew up in England and France surrounded by a family which has always been passionate about food, wine, and the arts. She was taught to cook by her French mother and grandmother. After graduating from Business School in London, and 15 years working in the property markets in California, she returned to her first passion, cooking. She opened the Pascale’s Kitchen Cooking School in 1999 which specializes in farmer’s market tours, seasonal cooking classes, bread making workshops and team building events. Her company also brings a range of culinary products, including her signature line of custom blended herbs and spices, oils and vinegars, kitchen and tableware, to its customers, making cooking pleasurable, delicious and fun. Pascale is also the author of 10 Mediterranean style, and ingredient focused cook books and is an award winning columnist for Edible Santa Barbara. She released her latest book, 9’ x 12’: Adventures in a Small Kitchen, Recipes for Stirring Times, a subscription based, multi-media book 9 x 12 | Pascale's Kitchen | Pascale Beale | Substack in January 2023.
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