‘Halo-halo’ – Milk Granita with Sweet Cannellini Beans, Poached Pear, Peanut Brittle, Crème Caramel and Soft Meringue

Recipe by: John Carasig - Contestant

Serves: 4


Milk Granita:

Crispy Pear Skin:

Sweet Cannellini Beans:

Poached Pears:

Peanut Brittle Crumb:

Crème Caramel:


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  1. Preheat oven to 120C.
  2. For the granita, place milk and cream into a blender and process for 1 minute. Transfer to a small shallow baking tray and freeze for 2 hours, scraping the surface every 20 minutes with a fork.
  3. For the crispy pear skin, place into a bowl with sugar and coat the peel. Place onto a lined baking tray and cook until dehydrated, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
  4. For the sweet cannellini beans, place water and sugar into a saucepan. Cook over high heat until sugar is dissolved. Place beans into syrup and allow to boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  5. For the poached pears, combine ginger ale, lemon juice and zest into a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile use an apple corer to create pear cylinders, making sure they only cut through the flesh and not the core. Place pear cylinders into the syrup and cover. Simmer until pear is tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  6. For the peanut brittle crumb, turn the oven up to 180C. Place caster sugar in a saucepan and caramelise over high heat until golden brown. Pour ½ teaspoon caramel into 8 x 2.5cm half dome mould and swirl to coat moulds. Set aside. Pour remaining caramel over peanuts on a tray lined with baking paper. Allow to cool and set. Transfer to a food processor and blitz to a rough crumble. Set aside.
  7. Increase oven temp to 160C.
  8. For the crème caramel, lightly whisk egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl. Heat milk and cream in a small saucepan until just reaching boiling point. Whisking continuously, gradually pour hot milk and cream mixture in a thin stream into the egg yolks. Pour the mixture through a sieve and transfer into prepared half dome moulds. Place onto a bain marie and bake until set, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and chill in the fridge.
  9. Decrease oven to 120C.
  10. For the meringue, whisk together egg whites and flour to soft peaks. Gradually add caster sugar, bit by bit making sure that each addition has dissolved before adding the next one. The meringue should be thick and glossy. Line a 11cm x 21cm baking tray with baking paper. Spread meringue to 1 inch thick and bake until set, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool and cut into 4 long strips.
  11. To assemble, place a strip of meringue into each bowl. Unmould crème caramel and place on each side of meringue. Scatter sweet beans and poached pear cylinders around meringue. Sprinkle peanut brittle crumb over beans, spoon over granita and finish with crispy pear skin.
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