Pera Caramellato con Pasta Sfoglia
Caramelized Pear Puff-Pastry
Here is another of my baked desserts- from someone who does not know how to bake! All I can say is thank heavens for ready-made puff-pastry! There is always something that you can whip up and make special with a crispy, fluffy pastry toping. Tonight it was simply a toffee-like spiced pear... so easy it is almost embarrassing! But this is how I made it...
I melted 2 tablespoons of Demarera sugar in a frying pan, together with a teaspoon of butter. Whilst this was melting I grated my pear- I find there is no need to peel it for this dish. As soon as the sugar has melted, add a splash of Cointreau and a half cup of milk. The sugar will clump-together initially, but keep stirring it and it will melt again and become a smooth, toffee-cream consistency. Add the grated pear and flavor it with cinnamon, a clove or two, a sprinkle of ground star anise and a tiny hint of nutmeg. After a minute or so- remove the cloves and pour the mixture into a small oven-proof dish or ramekin.
For the pastry topping, I used my little ravioli cutter to stamp out little circles of pastry. I then made a cut into the circles to about half-way and twisted the pastry around to form little "roses". I laid these around the outside edge of the baking dish, making sure to leave some of the pear exposed so that it would turn golden and brown during baking. I had 3 more pastry circles than I needed- so voila! Extra decoration! Into the middle they went! And into the oven the whole thing went at a high heat for 5-10 minutes until the pastry puffed up and became golden brown... so simple- and so delicious!
I let it cool off slightly and gave it a light dusting with powdered sugar- and a yummy dessert was made out of just a single pear and a little sugar and spice... and isn't that nice?