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…
puff pastry (go on – make it homemade, it doesn’t take that long!)
4 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 cup honey
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!