Sunday, March 11, 2012

Candied ginger pears

A decadent and healthy dessert! These taste like a fancy dessert you might order at a restaurant. They're light and perfect for a sweet end to a large meal and so easy to make. The recipe comes from Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet. Michael and Liz and I all agreed these tasted something like key lime pie. Yes, I know there are no limes in this dish but it totally tastes like it!


1 cup ground almonds
2 Tbs brown rice syrup (I used agave nectar, as I didn't have any brown rice syrup on hand)
3 large or 4 small pears, halved and core scooped out
1 1/2 cups pear or apple juice
1 tsp ginger juice (grate 1" fresh ginger and use your fingers to squeeze out the juice)
pinch of sea salt
1 Tbs kuzu mixed with 1 Tbs cold pear juice (I used arrowroot powder instead of kuzu- you could use cornstarch instead as it's just something to thicken the sauce)
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
4 tsp maple syrup (optional)

1. Heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds and toast for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until fragrant and golden brown. Transfer to a small bowl to cool. When cool, buzz the almonds in a food processor or blender until very finely ground. Heat the rice syrup (or agave) in a small saucepan. Add the ground almonds and stir over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens. Set aside.

2. Arrange the pears in a deep skillet, cut sides up. Add the pear or apple juice to the pan along with the ginger juice and salt. Cover the pan, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the pear halves are soft. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a serving platter, reserving the cooking liquid. Fill the hollow of each pear with some of the ground almond mixture.

3. Stir the diluted kuzu (or arrowroot) into the reserved cooking liquid and heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and zest. Pour the sauce over the pears and serve. For extra sweetness and some color, drizzle each pear with 1 tsp maple syrup.

Liz and I used some of the leftover ground almond mix as a topping for our rice pancakes for breakfast.

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