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Poached pears with almond cake- 4/02/11

Close to house I discovered a new groceries store that specialized in fresh vegetables.  All the vegetables are grown locally, they have a wide selections of herbs, which come handy for my cooking and above all they their products are so reasonably priced!   This week while shopping for vegetables I stumbled on these mini pears!  I have never seen them before so I grabbed a bunch and I knew immediately what to do with them.  First, the pears are poached with spices and then they are baked with an almond batter.  Since I love almond this this the perfect dessert!

The dessert looks so cute and appealing!

 

These little cakes are so good freshly out of the oven or at room temperature! 

Close look at the dessert!

Preparation work..

For the poached pears:
6 mini pears, peeled
1/2 cup sugar
2-3 cloves
2-3 cardamom pods
1 stick cinnamon
5-6 allspice berries
1-2 star anise
1/2 lemon
4 cups water

For the cakes:
3 tablespoons  unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup  sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup  heavy cream
1 cup ground almonds (blanched or skin on - your preference)
1/4 cup  all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Peel and core the pears.

.

To remove the core, make an incision with your corer and then with a spoon, remove the core.

Place the pears, spices, lemon and water in tall saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat.

Lower the heat and let them simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the pears are just soft (poke with a toothpick to check).

Remove from the water using a slotted spoon.

Allow the pears to cool down.

In the bowl if an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffly (about 3 minutes).

Add the eggs, one a time and beat well in between each addition.

Reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla, heavy cream, almonds, flour and baking powder.

 Beat until incorporated.

Fill each ramekins about 1/3 full with the batter.

Place a poached pear in the center of the ramekin.

Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees and put the baking tray in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes.

Freshly out of the oven... 

 

Freshly out of the oven... Serve right away or let the cake cool down at room temperature.  When ready to serve, reheat each ramekin in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

 

Filed as: Cake/cookies

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