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Pear and Hazelnut Meringue

375 Calories per portion

ingredients

serves 6 - 8
4 egg whites
275 g (10 oz) caster sugar
few drops of vanilla essence
1 teaspoon vinegar
100 g (4 oz) ground hazelnuts, toasted
450 g (1 lb) pears, peeled, cored and sliced
300 ml (1/2 pint) fresh double cream, whipped
whole hazelnuts

method

1. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then whisk in 250 g (9 oz) of sugar a tablespoon at a time. Continue whisking until the meringue is very stiff and holds its shape. Fold in the vanilla essence, vinegar and hazelnuts.

2. Divide the mixture between two lined and greased 20.5 cm (8 inch) sandwich tins and spread evenly. Bake at 180°C (350°F) mark 4 for 45 minutes.

3. Place pears and remaining sugar in a saucepan. Cover and cook for 10 - 15 minutes until tender. Strain off any excess liquid and fold into two thirds of the cream.

4. Sandwich the meringue rounds together with the filling. Decorate with remaining cream and hazelnuts.

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