A honey of a salute to late-summer pear season, this cozy dessert has plenty of "wow" factor. Wrapped in puffed pastry, it resembles a beehive. —Heather Baird, Knoxville, Tennessee
- 4 small pears
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup honey
- 1 small lemon, halved
- 3 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
- 6 to 8 whole cloves
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- Core pears from bottom, leaving stems intact. Peel pears; cut 1/4 in. from the bottom of each to level if necessary.
- In a large saucepan, combine the water, sugar, honey, lemon halves, cinnamon and cloves. Split vanilla bean and scrape seeds; add bean and seeds to sugar mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; place pears on their sides in saucepan and poach, uncovered, for 18-22 minutes or until pears are almost tender, basting occasionally with poaching liquid.
- Remove pears with a slotted spoon; cool slightly. Strain and reserve 1-1/2 cups poaching liquid; set aside.
- Unfold puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 1/2-in.-wide strips. Starting at the bottom of a pear, wrap a pastry strip around pear, adding additional strips until pear is completely wrapped in pastry. Repeat with remaining pears and puff pastry.
- Transfer to a parchment paper-lined 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Meanwhile bring reserved poaching liquid to a boil; cook until liquid is thick and syrupy, about 10-15 minutes. Place pears on dessert plates and drizzle with syrup. Serve warm. Yield: 4 servings.
Originally published as Honeyed Pears in Puff Pastry in Country Woman 2012, pJune/July
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