June 17, 2011

Pear macaroon slice - it's a celebration!

It's been 5 long weeks, but today I finally got my oven back! Needless to say there are now a few reasons to celebrate (in no particular order) 1) oven is fixed (hurrah!) 2) my fiancé (still not used to saying that) turned 30 earlier this week and 3) well, as you already know, we are now officially planning a wedding!

As you can imagine, I was feeling a little traumatised after the whole oven fiasco and righteously felt somewhat paranoid whether or not the oven could be fixed. After the oven repairs man had left and ensured me that the oven would now work, I felt confident to take the risk and start baking again.

This pear macaroon slice is definitely a celebration treat for us. I've used much more sugar than normally (although raw sugar, but nevertheless this is rather sweet), but I did opt for using extra virgin coconut oil and whole spelt flour to balance the richness. This is a brittle little thing, but all worth the effort. If pear is not in season where you are, any other seasonal fruit (berries, apples, quinces, even plums) will be just perfect.

Happy weekend all!

Pear macaroon slice

4 ripe pears, peeled and cut into wedges
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract

100g extra-virgin coconut oil (not liquid)
1 cup raw sugar
2 large, free-range eggs, separated
  1 cup whole spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

1. Start by making the filling. Place the pears, spices and vanilla in a saucepan and bring to boil. Add one tablespoon of water if necessary, but be sure that as the pears soften, a lot of liquid will come out. Simmer the pears for 10-15 minutes or until they are completely soft. Drain and mash into a chunky purée using a fork. Use the left-over liquid to make a spicy warm drink, if you like.

2. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a baking tin (18cm x 28cm) and line it with baking paper.

3. Place the coconut oil and half of the sugar into a mixing bowl. Beat the mixture until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one by one, beating well after each yolk. Mix the baking powder into the flour and sift the mixture into the dough. Using your hands, knead the dough - very lightly - together. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

4. Place the egg whites into a clean bowl and beat into a soft peak. Add the rest of the sugar little by little and beat until the mixture is glossy and thick. 

5. Using your fingers, press the chilled dough evenly onto the base of the tin. Top the base with the pear filling and spread the meringue on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is lightly brown. Leave to cool before cutting into squares.