For the meringues
- 3 medium egg whites
- 175g caster sugar
- 1 tsp cornflour
- ½ tsp white wine vinegar
For the pears
- 8 small pears, peeled
Like apples, to which they are related, pears come in thousands of varieties, of which only a…
- 2 tbsp clear honey
- 300ml good quality apple juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
For the chocolate sauce
- 147ml carton double cream
- 100g bar plain chocolate (70%), broken into pieces
For the cream filling
- 284ml carton whipping cream
- 200g Greek yogurt, half fat
Heat oven to 140C/fan 120C/gas 1. Line 2 large baking sheets with non-stick baking paper. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff.
Gradually whisk in the sugar 1 tbsp at a time until the mixture is very stiff and shiny. Sift in the cornflour then, using a large metal spoon, fold in along with the vinegar. Divide the mixture into 8 mounds and place on the parchment paper. With a dessert spoon, flatten each one out to approximately 9cm in diameter and make a light indent in the centre of each.
Cook for 40-50 mins or until the meringue mixture is hard and the baking parchment peels away easily from the bottom of the each one. Cool on a wire rack. You can make these up to 3 days in advance and store in an airtight container or freeze for up to a month.
Using a sharp knife, score around and scoop out the core of the pears, keeping the stalk on. Place the pears in a medium pan in a single layer – they should fit quite tightly. Add the honey, apple juice and cinnamon stick. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat, cover with a round of baking parchment and a lid. Simmer for 35-40 mins until pears are tender. Remove lid and paper, turn up the heat and allow the liquid to bubble away until it has turned to a sticky glaze. Leave to cool. Pears may be refrigerated for up to 2 days, coated in glaze and covered.
Meanwhile, make the chocolate sauce and cream filling. Add the double cream and chocolate to the pan and stir constantly over a gentle heat, until the chocolate has melted. Stir together the cream and Greek yogurt until thick, but still soft – it will thicken up without beating.
To serve, put the meringues on serving plates and top with a dollop of the cream filling. Place a glazed pear on top and drizzle with some warm chocolate sauce. Serve straight away, handing round any extra sauce.