I shared photos of this baked pear in puff pastry dessert a few weeks ago on Facebook but so much has been going on in my life I haven’t had a chance to share the recipe with you. My apologies. I received an email yesterday asking me if I had really made those myself. They aren’t perfect so it’s obvious I made them. This was my first try but I will definitely be making these again. They are beautiful on a plate.
I found this recipe while strolling the net and found a site with Bulgarian recipes. I’ve shared before that Bulgaria is a favorite country. John and I have visited several times and we have wonderful friends who live there. When I saw the site I thought, “I can make a traditional Bulgarian recipe and show Hristo and Emilya how clever I am.”
Then I saw these pears. Well, not these pears. The recipe I found was for an appetizer and they were filled with cheese but I liked the idea so much and was sure it would work just as well for a dessert — and it did.
I’ll let you in on a secret because it made me laugh. John was asleep, leaving just Rob and me downstairs when I finished these pears. I took them out of the oven, cooled them slightly, filled them with vanilla bean custard and went off to photograph them.
If you look at the pears before baking, you’ll see that they’re well, pear shaped. When you turn them over, the skinny bit at the top leans over – bad photo. I went to the pantry, got some big marshmallows, cut just a bit off to get it sticky and put it under the thin end. Problem solved.
Then I brought a pear out for Rob and he ate with gusto while I finished the rest of the photos. This man can EAT.
“How did you like it? Should I try one?”
“Oh yes, you’ll like it, but the marshmallow seemed odd to add in there,” he said.
“That was a prop, you weren’t supposed to eat that!”
“It wasn’t bad but it would have been better in hot chocolate. Got any?”
He’s too cute.
If you buy puff pastry, these are dead easy to make. You could buy both the puff pastry and the custard from the food store and then the most difficult thing is peeling the pears.
Peel the pears, scoop out the bit where the seeds are (I used a melon baller), paint them with lemon juice on both sides, turn them over on a silpat or baking paper and fit the puff pastry and cut around it. Then do your best to make a leaf. Then poke the puff pastry with a paring knife and pop in the oven.
When they’re cool enough to handle lift them off with a spatula, fill with custard and serve. It is an elegant dessert and looks like it was difficult to make. Don’t tell!
- 2 medium sized, firm pears
- ½ lemon, juice only
- 2 sheets puff pastry – enough to cover 4 pear halves
- 2-3 tbsp milk
- Smitten Kitchen has a great recipe for vanilla bean pudding
- Peel the pears, cut them in halves (leaving the stem) and remove the seeds. Use a teaspoon or melon baller to make a little pocket for the custard.
- Brush the pears with lemon juice on both sides to prevent discoloration.
- Line a baking pan with parchment paper or silpat and arrange the pear halves flat side down.
- From the (thawed) puff pastry cut 4 rectangles, just a bit larger than the pears. Cover every pear with a piece of pastry and using a sharp knife cut the excess, leaving a well covered fruit. This sounds more difficult than it is. Think of it as putting a sweater on the pear.
- Then cut a leaf from the remaining pastry – this is only for decoration and anything resembling a leaf is good. Glue them to the neck of the pear with milk.
- Pierce here and there with a sharp knife and brush with milk.
- Bake in preheated oven (200°C/400°F) for 15-20 minutes or until golden.
- Leave on the baking sheet to cool for a few minutes before flipping over.
- When the pears are slightly cooled, remove from the baking pan (you may need to use tongs) and arrange on serving dishes.
- Fill the cavity with the pudding/custard and sprinkle with coconut, cocoa nibs, sprinkles or icing sugar and serve with whipped cream.