It's time for the grand finale! Today we present you the dessert of our 3-course Vegetarian Christmas Menu: Christmas tree meringue with poached pear. Whether it's daily business for you to cook a vegetarian meal or you are totally stressed because you just found out one of your Christmas dinner guests is a veggie, with this menu you will serve the perfect dinner. These recipes are easy to prepare in advance, so you can relax a bit more on the festive day itself.
Christmas tree meringue with poached pears and meringue snow
The ingredients for the meringue make about 14 christmas trees. So double the recipe if you have more than 5 guests as you want to pick the nicest christmas trees.
Peel the pears and put into a large pan.
Add the entire bottle of wine and add some water if the pears are not entirely under.
Add the sugar, lemon, orange and cinnamon.
Bring it to a boil an then leave to simmer on a low temperature for at least 6 hours until the pears are completely red.
Preheat the oven at 100 C
Place the egg whites in the kitchen machine with the whisk attachment. Add a little bit of salt.
Whisk at the highest speed until the egg whites get some volume. Then slowly start adding the sugar spoon by spoon. Wait to add new sugar until the previous sugar is dissolved.
When all the sugar is added, mix for another minute and check if all the sugar is dissolved.
Take the bowl from the kitchen machine and slowly fold in the sifted powdered sugar.
Divide the meringue mixture in two equal parts. Add a few drops of the green food colouring to the mixture and stir well. Add some more if you need it to be more green.
Take a piping bag and put in the green mixture. Pipe it on to a baking tray lined with parchment paper by piping, getting the nozzle up and pipe again but a little bit less then the previous one. Repeat this until you get a nice Christmas tree. It make some times, but you can always put the mixture of the failed ones back into the piping bag.
Take the white mixture and spread it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Put both trays in the oven at 100 C and leave for at least 1 hour. Make sure they don't colour. If they get a little brown, lower the temperature.
The meringue is finished when you can get them of the parchment paper and they feel light and firm.
To make a nice sauce, remove the pears from the pan, then boil the liquid to reduce it by half so that it’s syrupy. We reduced it to a minimum and when it cooled off it was a jelly substance, which we cut out into nice little rounds. You can even do both if you have some time left.
To plate the dish you can go as wild as you like. We even made two suggestions. Cut out or thinly slice the pears. Put it nicely on the plate and dress with some of the red wine syrup. Add the whipped cream and the Christmas tree. Take the white meringue and.....let it snow! HoHoHo! We hope you have a great, festive and tasty Christmas!
If you ever want to make this menu at any other time, just pipe the meringue in any form you like.
Do you also want to make the starter and main dish from our 3-course Vegetarian Christmas Dinner? Check out our Mushroom Christmas Cracker and the Beetroot Carpaccio with Ras al Hanout walnuts.
Good luck and most important: have a nice Christmas!