4 ripe pears – Bosc or Anjou varieties (peeled, halved and cored)
1 Tbsp. plus 1/4 cup sugar, divided
4 large, room temperature egg whites
Dash of cream of tartar
Dash of salt
2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. shaved chocolate, from a good-quality dark chocolate bar
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large baking pan, combine water, orange juice, 1 Tbsp. sugar and cloves. Add pears. Poach pears in the oven until soft. Remove pears from liquid and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until the eggs are frothy (about 1 minute). With the mixer at high speed, add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Beat for roughly 6 minutes or until stiff, glossy peaks form.
Drop the meringue onto the prepared baking sheet in eight 3- to 4-inch-diameter rounds, smoothing the edges. Bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, but leave the meringues in the oven for about 12 hours. Do not open the oven door.
When ready to serve, gently peel the meringues off the parchment paper.
Place each pear half in a bowl and top with one meringue. To garnish, shave chocolate from the side of the chocolate bar using a vegetable peeler. Note, it may help if the chocolate bar is cold, so refrigerate for several minutes prior. Garnish each meringue with 1 teaspoon shaved chocolate.