Roasted Pear Fool Crunch

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The countdown to Christmas is on. How about a make ahead dessert to take the pressure off your holiday entertaining? My recipe for Roasted Pear Fool Crunch can be made a day in advance and checks off all the boxes for festive, easy and delicious. This is my second entry in the USA Pears Blogger Recipe Challenge Baking/Desserts category.

Dip your spoon into this creamy, crunchy, spicy and juicy dessert. The caramelized pears add a fresh intense sweetness that “pears perfectly” with the warm spices of the gingersnaps and slight bitterness of the orange marmalade. The addition of the mascarpone cheese helps to stabilize the cream, so the dessert can be made a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Garnish just before serving.

Roasted Pear Fool Crunch

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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3 ripe USA pears

2 tablespoons melted butter

2 tablespoons honey

½ cup heavy cream

¼ cup mascarpone cheese

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

2 tablespoons orange marmalade

½ cup crumbled ginger snap cookies

¼ cup pomegranate seeds

Heat oven 400F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with non-stick cooking spray. Core, peel and dice 2 pears. Toss pears with butter and honey, spread over prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until pears are caramelized; cool. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on low speed, combine heavy cream, mascarpone, powdered sugar and marmalade until blended. Increase mixer speed and beat to just stiff peaks. Fold in cooled pear mixture. Layer half the pear fool mixture over the bottom of 4 serving glasses. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the crumbled cookies for garnish. Sprinkle the remaining cookies evenly over the pear fool. Sprinkle with half the pomegranate seeds. Dollop remaining pear fool on top. Sprinkle evenly with remaining cookies and pomegranate seeds. Thinly slice the remaining pear. Garnish each serving with a fan of pear slices.

For more information and delicious recipes check out the website www.usapears.org and their social media platforms @usapears

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Salted Chocolate Pear Pound Cake

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I am taking part in the “USA Pears Blogger Recipe Challenge”. It’s holiday time and I am delighted to share my delicious recipe entries with you! 

USA Pears are at the peak of freshness right now, so I’m simply happy to accept this challenge using this beautiful versatile fruit. The fact that northwest pears come in 10 varieties and work well in both savory and sweet dishes got my creative juices flowing. I personally love Bosc and Anjou pears for baking. 

First up in the Baking category is what I like to call my “bake two share one” recipe. This recipe allows you to indulge yourself as well as a friend. Friendsgiving is a thing. Wrapped and tied with a bow it makes the perfect hostess gift or teacher present. No better way to show your gratitude than with this stunning homemade cake.

I can’t tell you how much I love this gorgeous moist and flavorful Salted Chocolate Pear Pound Cake. Scented with the warmth of cardamom, coffee and a burst of chocolate flavor this cake is filled with chunks of juicy pears and simply dusted with flaked salt and powdered sugar.

Salted Chocolate Pear Pound Cake

4 firm ripe USA Pears, 2 Bosc pear plus 2 Anjou

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 cups hot water

2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

Flaked finishing salt

Powdered sugar

Heat oven 350F. Spray two 8-9 inch x 5-inch loaf pans with baking spray. Line pans with strips of parchment paper and lightly spray paper. Slice the Bosc pears in half lengthwise just off center from the stem. Do not peel. Place the pear, cut-side down, on a mandoline and thinly slice. You will need 6 slices of pear for each pan. (I like to cut 3 slices from each half.) Remove seeds from slices, if needed. Gently press 3 slices of pear along each side of the long side of loaf pan. Peel, core and small dice the Anjou pears. Toss diced pears with 2 tablespoons of flour until coated; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom and salt; set aside. Stir water and espresso powder together until espresso is dissolved; set aside. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar for 3 to 4 minutes or until well combined. Add eggs; blend well. With mixer at low speed, gradually add half of the dry ingredients. Slowly add coffee until combined. Add remaining dry mixture; blend well scraping down sides of bowl and beater as needed. Fold in diced pears and excess flour. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 65 to 70 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan before turning out on a wire rack to cool. Remove parchment and turn cakes upright. Sprinkle top of cake with flaked salt while cake is still warm. Coll completely. Dust with powdered sugar just before slicing and serving.

And here is a tip on how to tell if a pear is ripe. Just press your finger into the neck end of the pear. If the stem moves it’s perfectly ripe, juicy and delicious. For more pear tips and delicious recipes check out the USA pear website at: https://www.usapears.org and social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram) @usapears.

Simply Sesame Holiday Fudge

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“Take the challenge and share your creativity using Simply Sesame’s Vanilla with Almond Bits, Pistachio Morsels with a hint of Cardamom or its Pure Roasted Sesame where there are (almost) no rules, only originality and the pursuit of great taste!”

img_3544Oh my!  You are in for a treat with this blogger recipe challenge sponsored by Bonelli Fine Food. I am always on board to try a product made from sesame seeds as the ingredient is well-known as an antioxidant and for its blood pressure and cholesterol lowering effects. As a lover of all things vanilla and almond it was a no brainer to dive into this flavor.

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I first tried mixing Simply Sesame into a homemade pumpkin waffle batter. The waffles baked up with a toasted, nutty crunch and the spread drizzled beautifully over the top. I think kids will love Simply Sesame as a fresh fruit dip, too, while parents will appreciate it being non GMO and safe to eat for those with a peanut allergy. But then my mind went to chocolate. Simply Sesame sure is versatile.

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Why not combine this nutritious and delicious creamy spread flavored with vanilla and almond bits with the health benefits of dark chocolate? Does a happy holiday fudge sound like something You can get on board with? With only 5 simple ingredients and a prep of maybe 5 minutes this creamy nutty fudge makes the perfect holiday gift for friends, family, teachers….and all the people you love or need to thank. MWAH!

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Simple Sesame Holiday Fudge

2 cups bittersweet 60% cacao chocolate chips

1 (14 oz.) can chocolate flavored sweetened condensed milk

2 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder

½ cup Simply Sesame Vanilla with Almond Bits

1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Line an 8-inch square baking dish with foil leaving an overhang. Spray foil lightly with non-stick cooking spray. In medium saucepan, over low heat, stir chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and cocoa powder until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in Simply Sesame until well combined. Pour mixture into prepared dish; smooth top. Sprinkle almonds evenly over top gently pressing into fudge. Chill about 2 hours or until firm. Lift fudge from pan. Slice into bite-size squares. Makes about 32 pieces. Store in airtight container in the fridge.

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For more Simply Sesame recipes, information and beautiful photos check out these links.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SimplySesame/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SimplySesame

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/imsimplysesame/