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Meringue Tartlets with Pears

Deceivingly rich, these meringue tartlets are actually a healthy, low-calorie dessert with a few extra benefits. Packed with nutrients, one medium pear contains about 5 grams of fiber and just 100 calories. The meringues are made from egg whites so they’re low in fat. To top it off, the dark chocolate contains flavonoids that impart important antioxidant benefits.  Though yes, these do contain sugar (organic sugar preferably), each serving contains but 1/2 a tablespoon of sugar.  The trick is limiting this delicious dessert to just one serving!

Ingredients:

4 large, room temperature egg whites
Dash of cream of tartar
Dash of sea salt
1/4 cup organic natural sugar plus 1 Tbsp., divided
1 cup water
1 cup orange juice without pulp
2 cloves
4 ripe pears – Bosc or Anjou varieties (peeled, halved and cored)
2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. shaved dark chocolate, from a good-quality chocolate bar

(As always, for the very healthiest versions of any recipe choose organic content as much as possible.)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In large mixing bowl, combine egg whites, cream of tartar and salt. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed until eggs are frothy (about 1 minute). With mixer, at high speed, add 1/4 cup sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Beat for roughly 6 minutes or until stiff, glossy peaks form.

3. Drop meringue onto prepared baking sheet in 3 to 4-inch rounds, smoothing the edges. Bake for 1 hour. Turn oven off, but leave meringues in oven for about 12 hours. Do not open oven door.

4. When ready to serve, gently peel meringues off parchment paper.

5. In large baking pan, combine water, orange juice, 1 Tbsp. sugar and cloves. Add pears. Poach pears in oven until soft. Remove pears from liquid and set pears aside.

6. Place each pear half in a bowl and top with one meringue. To garnish, shave chocolate from side of chocolate bar using a vegetable peeler. Each meringue should get 1 teaspoon of chocolate.

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 117 calories, 2 g. total fat (less than 1 g. saturated fat), 24 g. carbohydrate, 3 g. protein, 3 g. dietary fiber, 65 mg. sodium.

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