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Pear Sorbet in Meringue Shells
Yield: 8 servings

32 oz canned pear slices in light or heavy syrup
2 T pear liqueur, or to taste
1 teaspoon lemon juice

unsalted butter
4 egg whites, room temp
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
pinch salt
1 c sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

10 oz raspberries, frozen, thawed
2 T superfine sugar
1/2 ts cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice

Place cans of pears in coldest part of freezer. Freeze until
completely frozen, at least 6 hours. Rinse cans briefly under warm
water. Open each can at both ends, leaving bottom of can in place.
Push the frozen pears and syrup into a large bowl. Let stand just
until softened enough to break frozen mass easily into 3 or 4
pieces, about 15 minutes. Remove to food processor.

Process pear mixture, using repeated on/off motion, until slushy.
Add liqueur and lemon juice, process until blended. Spoon into
freezer container. Freeze, tightly covered, until sorbet is solid
and flavors mellow, at least 3 hours.

Butter 2 large baking sheets, dust with flour and shake off excess.
Using a 4-inch cardboard template or saucer and the point of a
wooden skewer or pick, outline four 4-inch circles, even spaced,
on each baking sheet. Set aside.

Heat oven to 200F.

Beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in large bowl on medium
speed until stiff but not dry. Beat in 2/3 cup of the sugar, 1
tablespoon at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition, beat
in vanilla, then continue to beat until whites are very stiff and
shiny. If mixture feels grainy when small amount is rubbed between
your two fingers, sugar is not dissolved completely, and mixture
must be beaten a little longer. Fold in remaining sugar gently
but thoroughly.

Spoon meringue gently into large pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch
fluted tip, fill in traced circles on baking sheets, starting at
center of each circle and working to outside edge, in even spiral.
When all circles are filled, pipe a standing rim around circumference
of each circle.

Bake meringue shells until dry and very pale beige, 2 to 2-1/2
hours. Turn off oven, let meringues stand in oven with door closed
2 hours.

Remove baking sheets to wire racks, let meringues stand 15 minutes,
then carefully loosen them with wide flat metal spatula and transfer
to wire racks. Let cool completely. Use immediately or store
loosely covered at room temperature up to 3 days.

Puree raspberries in food processor, press through sieve and discard
seeds. Mix sugar and cornstarch in small saucepan, stir in raspberry
puree gradually, stir until thoroughly blended. Heat over low
heat, stirring constantly, until sauce boils and thickens. Remove
from heat. Refrigerate until very cold, at least 2 hours. Stir in
lemon juice before serving.

Scoop generous portions of sorbet into meringue shells. Pour
raspberry sauce over each serving. Serve immediately.


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