Poached Pears with Almond Cream
Crisp pastry forms the base for a nicely spiced pear half in this elegant dessert.—Judy Losecco, Buffalo, New York
Total TimePrep: 55 min. Bake: 10 min. + cooling
- 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.
Nutrition Facts1 each: 533 calories, 31g fat (13g saturated fat), 47mg cholesterol, 319mg sodium, 56g carbohydrate (26g sugars, 3g fiber), 7g protein.
Originally published as Poached Pears with Pastry and Almond Creme in Taste of Home August/September 2006
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