Toasting nuts before using them in a recipe intensifies their flavor. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 350° for 5 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Be sure to watch them carefully so they don't burn.
Although they're quick to fix, you'll want to savor these pretty pastries slowly. Delicately spiced pears are complemented by an almond sauce and a crispy crust. Be prepared to share the recipe.—Marie Rizzio, Interlochen, Michigan