Gluten-Free Balsamic Pear Pavlova Recipe
What’s your favorite gluten-free dessert? Mine is without a doubt pavlova! If you’re not familiar with pavlova, it’s time you two meet.
Pavlovas are my favorite because they don’t require any flour substitutes and they are essentially a giant meringue, which means you can cut yourself a large slice and that right there is one portion. No need to settle for a small meringue cookie when you can have a meringue CAKE, am I right?
Although this recipe may seem like a lot of steps at first glance, I assure you they are all easy and they are good cooking basics to know. The finished dessert looks very fancy-schmancy and it will look like you put in tons more effort than you really did.
To make a flawless pavlova, always use good-quality eggs (I use free-range eggs from Nature’s Yoke) for best flavor and use superfine sugar for best texture.
What’s your favorite gluten-free dessert? Let me know in the comments below!
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns optional
- 3 firm but ripe Bosc pears
- 4 large free-range egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup superfine sugar
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
- ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts chopped
Combine all ingredients except the pears in a large skillet over medium-low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Peal the pears, cut in half, and core. Place the pears in the poaching liquid, core-side down. Cover and let simmer gently for 15 minutes. Flip pears over, cover the skillet and let poach for another 5 minutes. Remove the pears, cut into slices, and place in a bowl. Strain the poaching liquid into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate while preparing the pavlova.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Using a bowl or pie pan as a guide, trace a circle onto a piece of parchment paper about 8 inches in diameter. Place the parchment, marked side down, on a baking sheet.
Place the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitter with the whisk attachment. Beat on low speed until frothy. Raise the speed to high and add the sugar gradually, about 2 tablespoons at a time. Continue to beat on high until stiff glossy peaks form, about 8 minutes. Beat in the vinegar and vanilla.
Spread the meringue on the prepared baking sheet and, using the back of a spoon, form a well in the center. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until crisp around the edges and the center is fully set. Remove from oven and let cool. When the meringue is cool enough to handle, gently peel off the parchment paper and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Before serving, combine the cream and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until stiff peaks form. Do not over beat.
Remove the pears from the liquid with a slotted spoon and pat dry. Fill the well of the pavlova with cream topping, place the pears on top, and sprinkle with the chopped hazelnuts.
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