VERIFIED BY Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water
- POACHED PEARS:
- 3 large pears
- 2 cups white grape juice
- 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches), halved
- 2 teaspoons thinly sliced crystallized ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons water
- ALMOND CREAM:
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- In a large bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in shortening until mixture is crumbly. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until mixture forms a ball.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut into six circles with a 4-in. cookie cutter. Place 1 in. apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 7-8 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
- Peel pears and cut in half lengthwise; remove cores. In a large skillet, combine the grape juice, cinnamon, ginger and allspice; add pears. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until pears are tender, turning once. Remove pears and set aside.
- Combine cornstarch and water; stir into poaching liquid. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; discard cinnamon stick.
- In a small bowl, combine the almond cream ingredients; beat until smooth. On each dessert plate, place a pear half on a pastry circle; drizzle with poaching liquid. Pipe almond cream over pears. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Poached Pears with Almond Cream in Taste of Home August/September 2006, p49