Made this dessert for my sweetie on Valentine’s Day. Wine poached pears stuffed with walnuts and chocolate, tied up in phyllo dough. It’s like a mini pear pie!
Ingredients for 2 pears:
2 tbsp. walnuts, chopped
3 tbsp. chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips, chopped
6 sheets phyllo dough
4 tbsp. earth balance butter, melted
3 tbsp. sugar
1 cup red wine or port
1 cup orange juice
1 cup water
2 tbsp. cinnamon
2 cardamon pods
1 tsp. ginger, chopped
Peel and core the pears. If a stem is attached, try to keep the stem intact for presentation. Bring poaching liquid to a boil. Add the pears, adding more water if needed to cover the pears. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and poach for 10-15 minutes until pears are tender. Remove pears, set aside the liquid. (I prepared this step a day before and placed the pears with the liquid in the fridge until I was ready to assemble the following night. Worked great! )
Mix together the chopped walnuts and chocolate. Divide in half and stuff into the core of the pears. On a clean, dry surface, place 1 sheet phyllo dough. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle a generous pinch of sugar. Add another layer of phyllo dough, brush with melted butter and sprinkle sugar. Continue to layer until all the phyllo dough is used.
Divide the dough in 1/2. Place 1 pear, base side down on the center of the phyllo. Start with one corner of the dough and wrap up the side of the pear. Twist the excess dough or pinch off. Brush any remaining butter on the outside of the pear and lightly sprinkle with sugar.
When ready to serve, place the reserved poaching liquid in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook 20-25 minutes until it forms a syrup. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until golden brown.
Place syrup on the bottom of a serving plate, top with the baked pear and drizzle more syrup on top.
How was your Valentine’s Day?
Yum! The ultimate holiday indulgence… pumpkin cheesecake. Although this isn’t exactly calorie free, this recipe is much healthier than a traditional cheesecake. Most are made with 4 packages of cream cheese! I’m all for a treat or two over the holidays, but I prefer to make better for you items that are just as delicious as the “real thing.”
I made Morgans Pumpkin Buttera few weeks ago and was looking for a fun way to use some of it up. You don’t have to make the butter to enjoy this recipe, but I highly recommend it. Not only will you get to use it in this cheescake recipe, but you’ll also have leftover pumpkin butter to spread on other holiday fare.
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingerbread Crust
1 cup gingersnaps, finely crushed
1 cup walnuts, finely crushed
4 tbsp. Earth Balance margarine, melted
In a blender or food processor, finely combine the walnuts and gingersnaps. Empty into a bowl and add the melted maragine. Quickly stir to distribute the margarine amoung the crumbs. Empty the crust batter into a 10″ springform pan and press crust into the bottom. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until set. Remove from oven and combine ingredients for filling.
1 1/2 cups Morgans Pumpkin Butter *
1 package silken tofu
1 8 oz. container tofutti cream cheese or other cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar or maple syrup
2 tbsp. corn starch or arrowroot powder
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and combine until creamy and smooth. Pour ontop of the crust and bake for 45-50 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Mine came out a bit cracked ontop but you can avoid this by baking in a water bath. Simply cover the seals of the springform pan with aluminum foil (so the water doesn’t seep in and make the crust soggy) and place in a larger baking dish filled a few inches deep with water. Bake as directed above.
*No time to make pumpkin butter? No problem. Just combine a cup of pumpkin puree with 1/2 cup sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and a touch of ginger. Process with the other filling ingredients.
I guess this is what happens when I have three days off… two blog posts in one weekend! I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day, here are two end of summer treats for you.
1 mango, cubed
3 oz. white tequila
1/4 c. simple syrup or 2 tbsp. agave nectar
1 1/2 oz. triple sec
2 limes, juiced
Blend together and share with a friend. You can use any fresh fruit you want, or just add more limes for a traditional margarita.
Key Lime Pie with Oatmeal Crust
This little goodie comes from LittleHouseofVeggies blog and it is awesome! I swapped out key lime juice for lime juice and made an oatmeal crust. Check out the recipe here. I recommend letting it defrost on the counter for at least an hour before serving.
How many of you have a Sunday night ritual? I enjoy my Sundays, those are the days I I take a break from teaching and work and try to make a nice dinner for family and friends. What I really look forward to are Sunday night desserts. I made this a few weeks ago and it tasted fresh, juicy and crisp; perfect for a hot August night in California. This topping would go great with any fruit and I really like that it’s not too sweet, as you can taste the berries over the topping. Enjoy!
Blueberry & Strawberry Cobbler
3 cups fresh fruit
3 tbsp. white wheat flour
4 tbsp. non-dairy, non-hydrogenated butter
1/4 cup quick oats (not steel cut)
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 tsp. arrowroot powder or cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss berries with arrowroot and place into oven safe dish. Lightly dot with 1 tbsp. butter. Combine the oats, nuts, sugar, vanilla, flour, salt, and remaining butter (melted). Scatter topping over fruit and bake for 15-20 minutes until crisp and golden brown. A la’ mode topping? Even better!