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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 Time
    Prep: 55 min. Bake: 10 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    6 servings

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  • 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 Facts
1 each: 533 calories, 31g fat (13g saturated fat), 47mg cholesterol, 319mg sodium, 56g carbohydrate (26g sugars, 3g fiber), 7g protein.
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