Black pears in toffee sauce and almonds for Rosh Hashanah
Terrific with ice cream, goat's-milk yogurt or chilled panna cotta.
This recipe is from Haaretz's archives.
For this dish the pears cook for a long time in a delicate caramel sauce until they turn dark brown and chewy, like a fine gummi candy, and are then baked to an espresso black. Or seed, quarter and place on top of a lettuce salad dressed with a slightly sweet vinaigrette, Roquefort and nuts.
For the pears
8 small pears, moderately hard and peeled (leave stems on )
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (130 grams ) sugar
1 cinnamon stick
For the toffee:
4 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons ground almonds
Place the pears, sugar and cinnamon in a medium pot. Cover and place over medium heat until the pot comes to a boil and the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to as low as possible and leave the pot, tightly covered, for 6-8 hours until the pears have shrunk in size and are the color of chocolate.
Heat the oven to 120 degrees Celsius. Remove the pears from the cooking liquid, reserving the liquid for the toffee sauce, and bake in a baking-paper-lined pan for 90-120 minutes, until the pears are the color of espresso and the texture of gummi candies. Refrigerated in a sterilized jar with the cooking liquid, they will keep for months.
Serving suggestion: Dry-roast ground almonds in a frying pan for several minutes, stirring constantly, until lightly browned. Cool. Place each pear on a dessert plate.
For the toffee sauce, heat 4 tablespoons of the caramel cooking liquid and 4 tablespoons of heavy cream in a small pot. Bring to a boil, simmer for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Drizzle the hot toffee sauce over the pears and sprinkle with roasted almonds.