It’s my favorite time of year. Harry & David Royal Riviera Pears have arrived and I’m putting them in just about everything. From salads to soups to cocktails, they’re one of the most versatile fruit during winter. I put this theory to the test with this pear pavlova recipe, and — spoiler alert — it passed with flying colors.
A pavlova is a classic meringue dish with a crispy outer shell and a marshmallow-y interior. This dish is fantastic all on its own, but why leave your pavlova naked when you can top it with a heaping pile of whipped cream and mulled wine-poached Royal Riviera Pears? The buttery pears soak up all the flavor of the mulled wine and are perfectly balanced with the vanilla flavored whipped cream and chewy meringue. Now, before the idea of making meringue makes you run for the hills, let me reassure you that this pavlova recipe is easy to make and worth every second.
Mulled Wine Pear Pavlova
- Baking sheet
- Parchment Paper
- Electric mixer
- Hand mixer
For the meringue
- 4 egg whites
- Pinch salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract (divided)
For the pears
- 1 bottle cabernet sauvignon
- 2 tablespoons mulling spices
- 4 Royal Riviera Pears (peeled)
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar (divided)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
For the meringue
- Preheat oven to 180° F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 9-inch circle on the parchment paper by tracing a 9-inch plate upside down. Turn the paper over so the tracing doesn’t end up on the Pavlova.
- Place the egg whites and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites on high until firm, approximately 1 minute.
- Slowly add the sugar to the egg whites and continue beating until stiff, shiny peaks form, approximately 2-3 minutes. Do not over mix.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and sprinkle the egg white mixture with cornstarch, white vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Carefully fold the ingredients into the egg whites using a rubber spatula. Gently pour the meringue mixture into the center of the circle on the parchment and spread into a smooth disk. Make a shallow well in the center of the meringue — this will puff up during baking and will ensure you have a marshmallow-y center.
- Bake the meringue for 90 minutes and then turn off the oven. Keep the oven door closed to allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven for an additional hour. It will be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
For the pears
- While the meringue is cooling, bring the wine to a boil in a large pot.
- Add the mulling spices and the pears to the wine, then turn the heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the pears from the wine and cool on a plate.
- Add a 1/4 cup of sugar to the wine and bring back to a boil. Boil the wine until reduced by half, approximately 20 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- In a medium bowl, beat the remaining vanilla, confectioners’ sugar, and whipping cream with a hand mixer until soft peaks form, approximately 3-4 minutes.
- Place the fully cooled meringue in the middle of a serving plate. Spread the whipping cream over the top of the meringue and then arrange the pears in the center of the whipped cream.
- Drizzle the syrup over the pears and the top of the meringue. Serve immediately.