white wine & citrus poached pears pavlovaswhite wine & citrus poached pears pavlovaswhite wine & citrus poached pears pavlovaswhite wine & citrus poached pears pavlovaswhite wine & citrus poached pears pavlovaswhite wine & citrus poached pears pavlovaswhite wine & citrus poached pears pavlovaswhite wine & citrus poached pears pavlovaswhite wine & citrus poached pears pavlovaswhite wine & citrus poached pears pavlovaswhite wine & citrus poached pears pavlovaswhite wine & citrus poached pears pavlovaswhite wine & citrus poached pears pavlovaswhite wine & citrus poached pears pavlovaswhite wine & citrus poached pears pavlovaswhite wine & citrus poached pears pavlovas

Another PEAR dessert, yes again, or rather an assembly of poached pears, meringues, creamy whipped topping, pear & citrus syrup and a sprinkling of crunchy garnishes for a wintery PAVLOVA dessert and since it really isn’t strawberry season yet, and life has pushed us all to become more responsible, ecological and thrifty, despite what supermarkets are willing to convince you to buy, this year we should forgo strawberries and switch to pears for a more amber and less red Valentine’s Day event !

I like this dessert for its assembly aspect because everything can be prepared in advance (like on the weekend) and stored until it’s ready to be assembled at the last minute and served.

The small poached pears are not reddish like the red-wine poached pears (see recipe here) that I posted over 1 month ago but more golden or amber with different additional flavorings like rosemary, star anis, cardamom and juniper berries that are fresher and greener.

The meringues are quite basic but I use a metal pastry ring to shape them before baking them so they all look the same and any extra meringue mixture is used to make mini-meringues, to be coarsely crushed and used as one of the garnishes. Warning ! Do not assemble the dessert too early in advance or the meringues will get mushy and collapse !

Happy amber-colored Valentine’s Day my friends … :)

white wine & citrus poached pears pavlovas


8 servings x 160 grams each


poached pears (425 grams poached pears + 425 grams poaching liquid) :

  • 500 grams (4 small) pears, peeled, sliced in half & cored (from an initial 625 grams)
  • 250 ml (1 cup) dry white wine
  • 250 ml (1 cup) citrus juice (1 large orange, 1 lemon, 1 lime)
  • 200 grams (1 cup) golden cane sugar
  • 10 grams (6 strips) citrus peels (from ¼ orange, ¼ lemon, ¼ lime)
  • 2 grams (2 whole) star anis
  • 1 gram (4 whole) cardamom pods, slightly crushed
  • 0,5 gram (4) juniper berries, slightly crushed
  • 2,5 grams (1 small branch) fresh rosemary
  • 2,5 grams (½ whole) vanilla bean, split in half & scraped
  • 1 gram (¼ tsp) fine sea salt

meringues (300 grams) : 

  • 150 grams (4 large or ½ cup + 2 ½ tbsp) egg whites
  • 1 gram (¼ tsp) fine sea salt
  • 1,25 ml (¼ tsp) white vinegar
  • 250 grams (1 ¼ cups) extra fine sugar
  • 2,5 grams (1 tsp) cornstarch
  • 2,5 ml (½ tsp) vanilla extract

cream topping (415 grams) : 

  • 180 grams (¾ cup) mascarpone cheese
  • 180 grams (¾ cup) crème fraiche or sour cream
  • 50 grams (¼ cup + 2 tbsp) icing sugar
  • 2,5 ml (½ tsp) vanilla extract
  • 2 grams (1 tsp) citrus zests (orange, lemon, lime)

decorative garnishes :

  • 125 ml (½ cup) reduced pear syrup (from an initial 250 ml poaching liquid)
  • 10 grams (1 tbsp) pistachios, roasted & salted, coarsely chopped
  • 5 grams (2 tbsp) crushed meringues
  • 3 grams (1 tsp) sugared citrus zests (or 6 grams/2 tsp diced candied citrus peels)


poached pears & syrup :

  • choose a pot with a lid that will accommodate the number of halved pears you wish to prepare (you will be able to fit an additional pear after they are peeled)
  • prepare a bowl with enough water to cover the pears (after peeling them) and add the juice of one whole lemon
  • peel the pears, slice in half and remove the core and set the peeled and cored pears immediately inside the bowl of water with some lemon juice
  • prepare the ingredients of the marinade and bring to a vivid boil for 2-3 minutes, then add the pears, let it come to a boil again, then immediately reduce to a simmer at very low heat and let simmer for 5-10 minutes, then remove from the heat, cover with a small plate to weigh the floating pears down, cover with a lid and let steep for at least 6-12 hours at room temperature until tender enough to poke with a knife or fork, yet still firm enough to hold their shapes
  • remove the pears and set aside on a rack and chill in the refrigerator (but dip them in the remaining poaching liquid 1 hour before serving)
  • strain the simmering liquid and recuperate at least 1 cup or 250 ml (for the syrup)
  • bring the 1 cup of simmering liquid to a boil and reduce to half (½ cup or 125 ml) until as thick as maple syrup and set aside to cool and chill in the refrigerator

meringues :

  • preheat the oven to 180°C and prepare a baking sheet with baking paper
  • whip the egg whites with the salt and the vinegar until stiff peaks form and set aside
  • spread the sugar in a thin layer on the baking paper and bake for 2-3 minutes until warm and then remove from the oven and slowly add the warmed sugar to the whipped egg whites and keep whipping until it all becomes very stiff and glossy and add the cornstarch and whip some more and then the vanilla extract and whip one more time
  • use an 8 cm pastry ring and spoon approximately ¾ cup of the meringue mixture inside, directly on the baking paper, use a spoon to create a little well or indent in the middle and very gently remove the ring and repeat 7 more times (each meringue should be well spaced from the others) until you have 8 mounds of meringues (I used 2 baking sheets) and then use up the remaining meringue mixture to create a few mini meringues (in between the larger mounds) that you will crush later
  • place the baking sheets inside the hot 180°C pre-heated oven on the middle rack and immediately turn off the heat completely, close the oven door and let gently bake for 3-4 hours minimum until completely cooled down or overnight (do not open the oven door until completely cooled)
  • store the meringues in an airtight container with a piece of stale bread (to absorb any extra moisture in the air that may soften them)

cream topping :

  • combine the mascarpone cheese with the crème fraîche or sour cream and whip until smooth, then add the flavorings, whip again and chill in the refrigerator

assembly :

  • set up the meringues on the serving plates, place 3 tablespoons of cream topping in the middle and on top of each meringue, add the poached half pear on top, drizzle with 2 tbsp of the syrup and sprinkle with some crushed pistachios, some crushed mini meringues and some citrus zests mixed with sugar beforehand or diced candied citrus peel
  • *note : all the dessert elements should be separate and refrigerated (except for the meringues that should be in an air-tight container at room temperature) and only assembled shortly before serving; all leftovers can be refrigerated and assembled up to several days later …