Caramelized Pear Phyllo with Vanilla Ice Cream and Honey

Food Blog 028 So this is the last of my pears that I bought, yes I am JUST NOW finishing them.  Perhaps buying so many pears may not have been the best idea seeing that it is just me and my fiance but they're so versatile you can use them in anything.  But I think the best way is to use pears would be in desserts, I love how they transform in flavor and texture once they are poached or baked.  It simply melts in your mouth and the flavor of the pear seems to be accentuated.  For this recipe, I poached some pears in a red wine mixture, wrapped it in phyllo and sprinkled it with some sugar and butter so it'd have a caramelization effect.  The warm crunchy pear phyllo pairs great with the cold and creamy vanilla ice cream -- a pear a la mode! :)

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Ingredients for Caramelized Pear Phyllo:

  • 12 sheets phyllo dough, defrosted (12" x 18" sheets)
  • 6 large pears, peeled, cored and halved
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tablespoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

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For the pears, in a large pot place add the wine, vinegar, water, sugar, and spices and heat mixture at medium heat until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.  Cook at a low medium heat where the liquid is barely simmering, (if it is bubbling lower the heat) and carefully add the pears. Cook for about 15- 20 minutes until the pears are soft and are a nice red color from the wine.  Remove pears from the poaching liquid and set aside to cool.

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Pre-heat oven at 375F.

Take the cooled pears and slice them in half horizontally so they can be layered with the phyllo.  Mix the melted butter, brown sugar and ground cinnamon together in a bowl. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper or foil and butter the bottom.  Lay down two strips of the phyllo dough and brush with butter mixture.  Lay down the pear slices and repeat with the phyllo dough process until the entire pan is filled ot the top.  Sprinkle the very top with some brown sugar and place in the oven for 30 minutes or until phyllo is a crispy golden brown.

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Cut the Pear Phyllo into squares and serve hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle it with some honey.  The crunchy carmelized phyllo pears great with the spiced pears and creamy vanilla ice cream -- you have a great combination of not only textures but a nice contrast in flavors as well.

If you want to serve it they way I have pictured, simple cut the phyllo with some metal rounds or if you do not own any, use the mouth of a large wine glass!  Carefully move the round to a plate andtop with ice cream and garnish with the crispy sides of the phyllo dough.  This is actually a really healthy dessert, the phyllo is low in fat and so are the pears -- to save calories skip the ice cream and use low fat yogurt instead :)