Muscovado Meringue
Muscovado Meringue with Red Wine Poached Fruit
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
Muscovado Meringue is sweet with notes of honey and caramel. A crisp shell yields to a soft gooey centre. Served alongside cherries & pears poached in red wine & cream, they make a spectacular feast of a dessert.
Course: Baking, Dessert
Cuisine: Worldwide
Keyword: cherry meringue, cherry pavlova, meringue, muscovado meringue, muscovado sugar recipe, pear pavlova, red wine cherries, red wine pears
Servings: 6 Servings
Author: Jane Saunders
For the Muscovado Meringues
  • 2 Egg whites (large, free range)
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) Light muscovado sugar
  • 65g (1/3 cup) Caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 50g (1/3 cup) Blanched hazelnuts - roughly chopped
For the Poached Fruit
  • 150g (2/3 cup) g Fresh cherries (or frozen if out of season)
  • 2 Large pears
  • 200ml (3/4 cup + 1 tbsp) Fruity red wine
  • 6 tbsp Caster sugar
  • 10g (4 x 1cm cubes) Crystalised ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla bean paste
  • 1 Strip orange peel (2cm wide x 4cm long)
To Serve
  • 300ml (1 1/4 cup) Whipped or double (heavy) cream
  1. Preheat oven to 140C/ 275F/ GM1 and line a baking sheet with baking parchment
  2. Weight the sugars into one bowl and stir to combine
  3. Put the egg whites into a medium sized bowl and begin to whisk, using electric beaters, until just stiff
  4. Add the sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, whisking continuously, until all of the sugar has been added. This process will take around 5 minutes, but the meringue will be a much better texture than if you add it all in one go
  5. Add the vinegar and cornflour and whisk for a further minute until fully incorporated
  6. Finally, using a large metal spoon fold in the chopped hazelnuts
  7. Spoon 6 heaps of meringue onto the baking sheet, leaving 5cm between each one. Gently press the back of a dessert spoon into the middle of each meringue, to make a slight indentation (or pipe neat nests if you feel like being fancy)
  8. Put into the oven, turn the heat down to 120C/250F/ GM 1/2 and let cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn the heat down to 100C/ 210F/ GM 1/4 and cook for a further 30 minutes
  9. Try to lift a meringue off the baking parchment - it should easily come away. If so, remove the meringues from the oven and let cool completely. If not, allow to cook for 5-10 more minutes and test again
  10. Store in an airtight container until ready to use
Make the Poached Fruit
  1. Pit the cherries and cut in half
  2. Put the sugar, wine, vanilla and orange zest into a medium saucepan and heat gently to dissolve the sugar
  3. Meanwhile, peel and quarter the pears. Remove the core and slice on the diagonal into strips (5mm wide)
  4. Carefully add to the pan
  5. Chop the ginger finely and toss into the pan
  6. Turn the heat up to medium and let cook (without boiling) for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the cherries and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the pears are tender
  7. Put a sieve over a bowl and pour the fruit and liquid through the sieve. Remove the orange zest then let everything drain for 10 minutes
  8. Put the fruit into a bowl, let cool and cover until required (refrigerate (for up to 3 days) if not to be eaten that day)
  9. Return the poaching liquid to the pan and heat to a rapid boil. Allow the liquid to reduce to half of it's volume - it will thicken slightly as it does so and the syrup will coat the back of a spoon when ready
  10. DO NOT pour the red wine syrup back over the fruit at this stage - keep them separate until ready to serve since the liquid inherent in the fruit will thin the syrup if left to stand
  11. Instead, pour the syrup into a heatproof bowl and let cool (again, refrigerate if not to be consumed that day)
Assembling the meringues
  1. Allow the fruit and syrup to come back to room temperature if they have been stored in the fridge
  2. Whip the cream and divide between the meringues, placing a dollop into the centre of each
  3. Take 1/3 of the syrup and mix it into the fruit then divide the fruit between each meringue, placing it neatly on top of the cream
  4. Pour the remaining syrup over the fruit and serve immediately