Classy and Refreshing Dessert

So we had been asked to bring dessert to the Scottish family Thanksgiving and I had to rack my brains trying to think of something light, sophisticated, refreshing, and still impressive to bring, as they usually tease me for having the most unhealthy food on my blog. I came across this recipe for honeyed pears in puff pastry and really couldn’t think about anything else afterwards. I could make my own puff pastry and la Mamma bought pears so they’d be ripe and luscious by the time I’d be home to work with them.

The reaction was PERFECT – everyone thought they were delicious and couldn’t stop eating them, despite being overfull from dinner and the other desserts (including a divine pumpkin cheesecake made by the Wee Ones and the traditional fruit salad). Some even asked if I was considering a career as a pastry chef = ).

Read on for the recipe and photos…


4 small pears (that have been allowed to ripen for a few days)

puff pastry (go on – make it homemade, it doesn’t take that long!)

4 cups water

2 cups sugar

1 cup honey

1/2 lemon

1 vanilla bean, seeded with hull reserved (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)

3 sticks cinnamon

6 – 8 whole cloves


  • Peel pears and core from the bottom (don’t take too much out – the pears already sag a bit after poaching, so they need some kind of support!).
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and honey. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.

  • When the sugar has melted, add the pears, vanilla seeds and hull (or extract), lemon, cinnamon, and cloves.
  • Simmer until the pears are fork tender (which can take 20 – 40 minutes depending on the ripeness of the pears).
  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • When the pears are soft, remove them from the pot and allow to cool slightly.
  • Strain poaching liquid and reserve 1 1/2 cups of it to make the syrup later.
  • While the pears are cooling, roll your pastry out into about 1/8″ sheet and cut into 1/2″ strips.

  • Wrap cooled pears in puff pastry starting at the bottom and working upwards. When you come to the end of a strip, paint the end with a bit of water and attach the next strip.

  • Place wrapped pears on a parchment lined jelly roll pan and bake for 15 – 20 minutes (mine took longer to get the right color) until golden brown.
  • Simmer the reserved poaching liquid over medium heat until thick and syrupy. Plate pears and top with syrup.

These are a great dessert for any time of year. I’m still having dreams about them…Go ahead and save the rest of the poaching liquid to make more syrup later or to poach more pears for a quick and delicious dessert!

6 Responses to “Classy and Refreshing Dessert”
  1. Sandy says:

    Dear Claire:

    Your post reminded me that we did not properly say thank you for the fabulous dessert you brought for Thanksgiving. Everyone from old (us) to young (our grandchildren) loved it and it was an excellent finale to the feast. There were several pears left and we all enjoyed them for days afterward – they were still delicious.

    If the opera thing doesn’t work out you would make a great dessert chef!!!

    • blubird607 says:

      Thank you, Sandy! No need for thanks – the happy sounds around the table were enough! Glad you enjoyed the pears for a couple days thereafter…there’s nothing like great leftovers! = )
      Should the opera career not work out, I would definitely consider a culinary career. Thanks for the support! I know who to turn to should it come to that ; )
      Lots of love!

  2. ellie says:

    i love baked fruit with pastry, this would be a great one for christmas lunch. Oh, how exciting!!

    • blubird607 says:

      Thanks, Ellie! And yes, this would be absolutely perfect for Christmas lunch – they’re light and don’t leave you feeling over full but they are decadent and delicious as well. Definitely something for a special occasion! = )

  3. Jeffery says:

    What are these called

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    December 2010
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