Baked pears with filo pastry and almonds

Roasted pears and a sticky caramel sauce combine with crisp pastry and almond cream in this fabulous dessert from Alex Mackay
By Alex Mackay
Baked pears with filo pastry and almonds
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

main

  • 25 g unsalted butter
  • 60 g caster sugar
  • 4 small, ripe Comice pears, peeled, halved and cored
  • 4 sheets of filo pastry
  • 50 g slivered almonds
  • icing sugar, for dusting

For the caramel sauce:

  • 125 g caster sugar
  • juice and zest of 1 lemons
  • 150 ml whipping cream
  • 12 chestnuts, hole and cooked

For the pastry and almond cream:

  • 50 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 50 g ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp whipping cream
  • 2 egg yolks

Method

1. Set the oven to 190°c/gas 5. Put the butter and sugar into a large frying pan over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Stir and continue to cook until the mixture forms a golden caramel.

2. Put the pears face down into the caramel. Cook over a medium heat for a few minutes until the pears are well coloured by the caramel. Transfer the pears to the pre-heated oven and cook for 15 minutes, until soft. Keep warm until needed.

3. To make the caramel sauce, cook the sugar with the lemon juice until the mixture forms a dark caramel.

4. In a separate pan, bring the cream to the boil. Pour the heated cream over the caramel, taking care as it may spit a little. Whisk continuously for 30 seconds over the heat.

5. Add the lemon zest and chestnuts. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and leave to cool.

6. To make the almond cream, combine the softened butter, icing sugar, ground almonds, whipping cream and eggs. Mix until well blended.

7. Set aside in the fridge so that it hardens slightly. Meanwhile, double up the sheets of filo pastry so that you have two rectangles of two layers. Brush them well with the melted butter between the layers and also on top. Sprinkle with almonds.

8. Cut eight rectangles, each 12 x 6cm and place them on to a baking tray. Dredge with plenty of icing sugar. Smooth the almond cream over the top and bake for 6-8 minutes until golden and caramelised on top. Store in a dry place until needed.

9. To serve, simply spoon the caramel sauce and chestnuts onto four plates then layer the pastry with the pears. Serve immediately.

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