Pic of Christmas pudding and pear mess

Christmas pudding and pear mess

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Christmas pudding and pear mess

Pudding & Cake Serves 4 3h
The viscous water from tinned chickpeas has enough body to be whisked into a foam, allowing the most unlikely of desserts to become vegan. You need to invest some good time for whisking to ensure that the meringues don't collapse in the oven. The smaller the meringues you make, the more stable they tend to be. The pears are easy to prepare ahead of time. If you have perfectly ripe pears you could do this recipe without poaching them first. The chocolate sauce needs to be made just before serving as it is best warm.


  • 100ml aquafaba (sieved liquid from tinned chickpeas)
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 100ml caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 firm pears
  • 200g unrefined caster sugar
  • 500ml water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 100g dark cooking chocolate
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp (60ml) boiling water
  • pinch of flaky sea salt
  • 250g leftover vegan Christmas pudding, broken into pieces
Image of Christmas pudding and pear mess


Prep time: 30 min
Cooking time: 2h 30 min
  • Step 1

    To make the meringues, preheat your oven to 100°C/Gas ¼. Place the aquafaba in a clean bowl with the cream of tartar. Whisk with an electric mixer for 3-4 mins until pale and foamy. Keep whisking and add the sugar a little at a time to incorporate it. It should get glossier and thicker as you carry on. Add the lemon juice and whisk for a final 5 mins, until smooth and glossy. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Use two dessert spoons to place walnut-sized blobs of meringue mix onto the tray, making sure they are evenly spaced. Gently place the tray in the oven and cook for 1½ hours. Turn the oven off but don't open the door. Leave them in the warm oven for another hour before removing. They'll store well in an airtight container for a couple of days.
  • Step 2

    While the meringues cook, peel your pears and slice them into quarters. Place all the poaching ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar as you do. Add the pears and simmer very gently for 10 mins, or until just soft to a knife tip. Turn the heat off and let the pears cool in the liquid. Store in the liquid until needed.
  • Step 3

    10 mins before serving, break the chocolate into small pieces. Place them in a small saucepan. Add the olive oil and water. Now, swirl and roll the pan so that the hot water starts to melt the chocolate. Do not mix or whisk it. When the chocolate seems to have almost lost it shape, use a use a metal spoon to stir it together. It should come together into a smooth, glossy sauce. Add a pinch of salt.
  • Step 4

    To build the mess, cut the pears into chunks and place them in a bowl with 3 tbsp of the poaching liquid. Add the Christmas pudding pieces and roughly break in half the meringues. Mix together gently and then divide between 4 bowls or dessert glasses. Crumble over the remaining meringues and spoon a generous drizzle of chocolate sauce over each one.

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