Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Ginger Coconut Poached Pears with Maple Glazed Walnuts

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe challenge sponsored by Chelan Fresh Marketing and am eligible to win prizes. I was not additionally compensated for my time.

I’ve always loved the idea of using fruit for dessert. As someone who loves dessert, but doesn’t really love the feeling of a sugar coma, these naturally sweetened pears are the perfect solution to nix my post-dinner sweet craving. The addition of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and vanilla also adds some warming, comforting flavor.

But, then again, I did sweeten the walnuts a little bit with one of my favorite sweeteners, maple syrup. This is dessert, after all.

Just be sure to keep an eye on your walnuts as they cook over the stovetop. I learned the hard way. I walked away for a moment, and soon my kitchen filled with smoke, my condo smelled like burnt marshmallows, and my pan was charred black. Lesson learned!

But when you do cook the walnuts just right (I promise, it's not  hard – I was just distracted), and the pears are poached to perfection, I have a feeling this is a dessert you’ll be making on a regular basis.

Ginger Coconut Poached Pears with Maple Glazed Walnuts

The combination of the nuttiness from the walnuts, creaminess from the coconut yogurt, and graininess from the pears makes this dessert a well-rounded treat. These pears are elegant enough to serve at a fancy dinner party or casual enough to make for a movie night at home.

Ingredients for pears:
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 pears, peeled and halved
6 ounces coconut yogurt

Ingredients for maple walnuts:
1 cup walnuts
¼ cup maple syrup
½ teaspoon sea salt


1.     Prepare the pot for the pears first. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a simmer.

2.     Add pears to pot and allow pears to simmer about 15 minutes until tender.

3.     Meanwhile, in a skillet, over medium-high heat, add the walnuts, maple syrup, and sea salt.

4.     Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes until walnuts are covered in syrup and the syrup is sticky and bubbly (keep an eye on it to make sure the maple syrup doesn’t burn).

5.     Transfer the walnuts to parchment paper, separate them, and allow them to cool.

6.     Once pears are done simmering, serve two pear halves per person in a small serving dish. Top with a scoop of coconut spiced broth, coconut yogurt and a ¼ cup of maple walnuts.

Enjoy, preferably with those you love.