Caramelized Pears with Tiramisu Cream

Caramelized Pears with Tiramisu Cream

This scrumptious dessert from HeartSmart Cooking for Family and Friends will make dinner guests think you’re a professional chef, and the fact that it’s low-fat makes it even more attractive.

4 medium pears, firm but ripe (preferably bartlett or bosc)
2/3 cup (150 mL) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (30 mL) chopped candied ginger
1 lemon, sliced very thin

1/2 cup (125 mL) part skim ricotta cheese, drained (see note)
2 tablespoons (30 mL) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) vanilla extract
2 teaspoons (10 mL) dark rum, coffee liqueur or extra-strong coffee
2 tablespoons (30 mL) chopped bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
1 tablespoon (15 mL) icing sugar, sifted

Cut pears in half lengthwise. Scoop out cores (a melon baller works well).

Sprinkle 2/3 cup (150 mL) granulated sugar over bottom of large heavy frypan that will hold all the pears in one layer. Cook, uncovered, on medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until sugar begins to brown and melt, stirring occasionally (be careful not to let burn).

Remove frypan from heat. Add pears cut side down. Sprinkle with ginger and arrange lemon slices over top. Place over low heat and cook for about 10 minutes. Cover and remove from heat; let rest for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare filling: In small bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 2 tablespoons (30 mL) granulated sugar, vanilla and rum.

Place chopped chocolate in strainer to remove any chocolate “dust” (this prevents the ricotta from discolouring). Stir chocolate pieces into filling.

To serve, place a pear half, cut side up, on each plate. Spoon about 1 tablespoon (15 mL) cheese mixture on to each half. Drizzle pear and plate with any syrup remaining in frypan. Arrange a cool lemon slice on each and dust with icing sugar.

Note: Put ricotta cheese in sieve set over bowl and let drain for 1 hour before using.

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