The other day I came across a street vendor selling these cute mini sized pears and I had to have my hands on them. And I thought of doing something that maintained their shape and size.
Years back at a very fancy New York restaurant, I had a delicious stuffed pear with blue cheese and cranberries and a whole bunch of other aromatics, which had me salivating for more. But this time, I wanted something a bit more extravagant and different – something that hit closer to home – the baklava!
Now, over the years in my travels I have had several adaptations of the baklava. Each region within the Middle East has it’s interpretation and statement of the best. Personally, I say the Syrian baklava is the best kinds – but then again, who am I to make such a bold statement?
As a home cook, I don’t believe in any rules, I go by what I feel goes right and most importantly, what I have on hand.
The pears are halved and cored, stuffed with a baklava type filling of almonds, pistachios, cardamom, rose water and saffron. And then baked in a syrup of fresh pomegranate juice, red wine vinegar and real vanilla, cinnamon and star anise, and a pinch of nutmeg.
I enjoy these on their own, but you can also serve with vanilla ice cream!
This dessert look super-duper fancy, but really, is a piece of cake to make!
- 4 mini pears
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup pistachios
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp rose water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2-3 saffron strands
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup pomegranate juice
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 vanilla pod
- pinch of nutmeg
- Place the filling ingredients together in a mixer and pulse until you achieve a coarse texture.
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Peel the pears, then halve and core the insides.
- In a bowl stir all the syrup ingredients together.
- In a shallow glass or ceramic dish place the pears facing up.
- Pour the syrup into the baking dish. Do add all the whole spices as well.
- Add the filling into the cores of the pear, and drizzle some of the syrup on top of the pears and bake for 30-40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and serve with vanilla ice cream.