Carol KicinskiAuthorCarol KicinskiCategory, Tags, , , DifficultyIntermediateRating

Gluten-Free Balsamic Pear Pavlova is a favorite because it doesn't require any flour substitutes and is essentially a giant meringue. The finished dessert looks exquisite and is surprisingly easy to make.

Yields6 Servings
Cook Time1 hr 35 mins

Balsamic Poached Pears
 1 cup light brown sugar
 ½ cup balsamic vinegar
 juice of 1 lemon
 ¼ cup water
 2 cinnamon sticks
 1 tsp whole black peppercorns (optional)
 3 firm but ripe Bosc pears
Pavlova
 4 Nature's Yoke free-range eggs
  tsp fine sea salt
 ¼ tsp cream of tartar
 1 cup sugar
 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
 1 tsp vanilla
Topping
 1 cup heavy cream
 2 tbsp sugar
 ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped

Balsamic Poached Pears:
1

Combine all ingredients, except the pears, in a large skillet over medium-low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

2

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.

3

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.

Pavlova:
4

Preheat the oven to 300 F. 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.

5

Place the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer. 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.

6

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.

Topping:
7

Before serving, combine the cream and sugar in bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. Do not over beat.

To Serve:
8

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.

Ingredients

Balsamic Poached Pears
 1 cup light brown sugar
 ½ cup balsamic vinegar
 juice of 1 lemon
 ¼ cup water
 2 cinnamon sticks
 1 tsp whole black peppercorns (optional)
 3 firm but ripe Bosc pears
Pavlova
 4 Nature's Yoke free-range eggs
  tsp fine sea salt
 ¼ tsp cream of tartar
 1 cup sugar
 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
 1 tsp vanilla
Topping
 1 cup heavy cream
 2 tbsp sugar
 ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped

Directions

Balsamic Poached Pears:
1

Combine all ingredients, except the pears, in a large skillet over medium-low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

2

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.

3

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.

Pavlova:
4

Preheat the oven to 300 F. 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.

5

Place the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer. 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.

6

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.

Topping:
7

Before serving, combine the cream and sugar in bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. Do not over beat.

To Serve:
8

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.

Gluten-Free Balsamic Pear Pavlova