Locally grown pears are in season now and offer some sweet and succulent eating.
Pears often get overlooked when it comes to desserts because they are harvested at the same time as apples, which everyone reaches for when it comes to pies, tarts, cakes and crisps.
But pears work equally well in all variety of desserts, including this showstopper, which calls for just a handful of ingredients, but will impress even the most important dinner guest.
— Lisa Abraham
1 lb. ready-made puff pastry
1 egg, beaten (to glaze the pastry)
2½ oz. bittersweet chocolate
3 tbsp. heavy cream
½ cup ground almonds
4 tender ripe pears, stems still attached
Peel the pears, but do not remove the stems. Using a vegetable corer, carefully core each pear from the bottom up to within 1 inch of the top.
Place the chocolate in a small saucepan with the cream and heat very gently until the chocolate has melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the ground almonds. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Fill the cavity of each pear with the chocolate mixture, pushing it up into the pear using a teaspoon or your thumb.
Roll out the pastry to create a large square sheet, about ⅛-inch thick and 16 inches square. Cut into four 8-inch squares. Sit a filled pear in the center of each square and wrap the pastry up and around the pear to cover. You may need to trim away any excess, but you can use this to make pastry leaves for decoration.
Paste any leaves on to the pears using a little water. Place the pears on a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill for about 30 minutes until ready to bake. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Lightly brush each pear with beaten egg to glaze, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the pastry is puffed and lightly browned.
Makes 4 servings.
— Pie, by Angela Boggiano
Find previous installments of This Week’s Harvest and a list of local farmers markets at www.ohio.com/lifestyle/food. Lisa Abraham can be reached at 330-996-3737 or at email@example.com. Find me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter @akronfoodie or visit my blog at www.ohio.com/blogs/lisa.