BAKED PEARS IN VERJUICE WITH CHOCOLATE FRANGIPANE AND MERINGUE
In this dessert the verjuice in the syrup counteracts the sweetness of the meringue giving you a flavour balance which is very amicable to dessert wines. Go all out and select a dessert wine to serve with dessert.
85g (1/2 cup) almonds (lightly toasted)
35g (1/4 cup) icing sugar
10g (1 tbsp) butter
2 drops almond extract (or essence)
30ml (2 tbsp) egg white (lightly beaten)
- To make Chocolate Frangipane: Place almonds, icing sugar and butter in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until almonds are finely ground and mixture is well combined.
- Add almond extract and egg white and using pulse button combine. This mixture will become a filling for the pears and should be wet but not sloppy. Transfer mixture to a small bowl.
- Add chocolate and cream to mixture and gently stir in. Set mixture aside in refrigerator for 30 minutes or until firm enough to roll.
- Roll mixture into eight even-sized Chocolate Frangipane balls about the size of a shelled walnut. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.
- Turn Baked Pears in Verjuice so side with hollow sits upwards.
- Place 1 Chocolate Frangipane ball in the cavity of each pear. Using a piping bag fitted with a star-shaped nozzle, pipe Italian Meringue to totally cover the cut surface of the pear and the chocolate ball. Alternatively you could apply the meringue with a kitchen knife.
- Return pears to oven and bake a further 7-10 minutes until meringue is light golden in colour but still soft to the touch. Alternatively brûlèe the Italian Meringue using a chef's torch.
- Serve pears warm or cold surrounded by poaching liquid.