The pear as aphrodisiac? As art? Absolutely! Its form invites romance and inspiration. It embodies the spirit of the Rubenesque woman. Just looking at a pear makes me wish I could paint. But for those of us that can’t, we can create another form of art on the plate. This incredibly easy, and luscious dessert might even make you swoon. The sweet flesh of the pear melts into the brightly-flavored goat cheese and finishes with an aromatic candied mint crust. Serve up romance and art with this memorable dessert. Fall in love with the pear.
For this recipe, we have used the short and plump Comice Pear as well as the taller more vibrant red Starkrimson. Pears will appear in your supermarkets in late September. Ripen all pears at room temperature, then store in the refrigerator. Test a pear for ripeness by pressing gently at the neck near the base of the stem. It should give slightly. The base should still be firm.
ROASTED PEAR WITH GOAT CHEESE AND MINT BRULÉE
(a TPP original recipe)
Makes 2 Servings (easily doubled)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Special tools: 1” melon baller; cookie sheet; thin metal spatula
Optional tools: sil pat mat or parchment paper
3 tablespoons baker’s sugar
1 package fresh, clean, dry mint (about ½ ounce or 30 leaves)
2 ounces plain goat cheese
- Preheat oven to broil (550ºF). Set top rack about 5” from heating elements.
- Slice the pear in half from the bottom through the stem, leaving the stem in tact. Turn each half on its side and slice off, at a 45º angle, the heal to form a flat base. Use a melon baller to remove the core from each half.
- Use the same melon baller to scoop goat cheese into the center of each half, allowing the cheese to slightly mound.
- On a dry cutting board, place the sugar and mint leaves together. Chop the mint into the sugar until the mint is crumbed. Do not over chop or the mint will lose its bright color.
- Pat the sugar/mint mixture over the entire cut surface of the pear halves until evenly and completely covered.
- Transfer the halves to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a sil pat mat. Broil for approximately 5 minutes or until the sugar bubbles and caramelizes.
- Use a thin flat spatula to carefully transfer to a serving dish. CAREFUL! THE SUGAR WILL BE HOT!
Garnish the plate with mint and drops of raspberry or pomegranite syrup. Any extra mint sugar can be saved if stored in an airtight container. Sprinkle on French toast.