The SCS Group which promotes USA Pears, Washington Apples and California prunes, along with Caperberry hosted an exclusive tasting and lunch for food bloggers and food journalists recently. Which meant we would get to taste some pear recipes dished out by Chef Abhijit Saha, a very familiar face to me, a reader of Bangalore Food Lovers since the past few years. Having read much about Caperberry, I was looking forward to the event and eventually when I did attend it, it was a very pleasant experience. The beautifully lit restaurant with large suspended glass windows allows a profusion of natural light into the very elegant and chic dining area. Its hard not to notice this and harder not to feel envious of people who get to savor this natural light, a real luxury in city spaces. The restaurant also has an art gallery where art pieces from new artistes will be displayed and sold. As Shurthi Saha, wife of Chef Abhijit Saha put it, its a perfect place to see art in a very casual setting, even if you do not know the intricacies of painting and art.
Tasting and getting to know USA pears was a revelation in itself. Having eaten only the Chinese pears so far, I loved the taste and texture of the USA pears. Really juicy, sweet, buttery in texture, your taste buds will ask for more. They come in different colors,shapes and flavors allowing you to play around with them in your salads, drinks, main course and desserts. You could of course eat them raw, grill them or poach them and they will give you delicious results. USA pears are sodium free, fat-free, cholesterol free and an excellent source of Vitamin C. The best part of is pears provide 24% of your daily fiber intake. And for only 100 calories per serving! - Source USA Pears.
USA pears claim to be one of the world's finest pears, available in India from September to February. I would surely say yes to pears and their versatility. Absolutely loved it in the very refreshing Virgin Pear Sangria, in the Grilled Pears Stuffed with Cherry Tomato Mozzarella (wanted more of pesto sauce for the very first time!) and as the very delicately flavored saffron poached pears among other things.
And we all got to take home some pears as well as some prunes and I was itching to try out my hand at cooking pears. Being the dessert loving person I am, simple and quick, yet delicious, Caramelized Pears With Roasted Almond And Vanilla Ice Cream seemed to be the perfect dessert on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Recipe inspired by a similar recipe on Pearpanache.com. Do check out this website for more ideas on cooking with pears, tips on how to use them.
This dessert is insanely easy to put together and real quick too. All you will need is just a few simple ingredients and you can have this impromptu dessert with no fuss, but a lot of dessert gratification.
- Firm, ripe pears - 2
- Roasted, chopped almonds - 4 tablespoons
- Vanilla ice cream - 4 large scoops
- For the caramel - From My Tartelette
- 1 tablespoon (15gr) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons (30gr) light brown sugar, packed
Peel, core and halve the pears, retaining the short stem on one half. A melon baller is the best tool for coring the pears neatly.
In a heavy wide pan set over medium heat, melt the butter and sugar together. When the mixture starts to sizzle, place the pears, cut side down. Allow to cook for a minute. Flip carefully and pour some of the caramel on the pears. Cook for a minute more. The pears will release their juices, making the caramel sauce thinner. Do not over-cook. The ripe pears will be quite soft and cooking them for longer will cause the pears to become mushy.
Remove the pears carefully from the pan and place a pear half, cut side up, on each of the serving plates. Top with a generous tablespoon of crushed almonds on each pear. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream immediately. Drizzle some left over caramel sauce on the ice cream if you wish.
I liked the bite to the pears when I ate my dessert. The crunch of the roasted almonds, the slightly firm and warm pears and the soft vanilla ice cream is a delight to the palate.
This fruit is definitely a winner and am looking forward to try more with pears...
This dessert is on its way to Ally's Delicious Desserts which comes with a yummy dessert book as a giveaway!