The light complexity of pears, coupled with the richness of hazelnut cream makes for a deliciously sweet treat.

3/4 cup roasted, skinned and salted hazelnuts (3 ounces), chopped

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 teaspoons amaretto liqueur

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg, chilled

2 large, ripe Bartlett pears

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  1. In a food processor, finely grind 1/2 cup of the hazelnuts. Transfer to a bowl. Add the confectioners’ sugar and butter and beat at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the amaretto and vanilla and beat for 1 minute. Add the egg and beat until incorporated.
  2. Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan.  Spread the hazelnut cream on the paper, about 1/2 inch thick.
  3. Peel, halve and core the pears. Slice each pear half lengthwise 1/4 inch thick; spread them into fans. Brush with lemon juice. Using a spatula, transfer the pear fans to the pan and place on top of the cream. Dust the pears with confectioners’ sugar. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the hazelnut cream is set and nicely browned.
  4. Using a spatula, transfer the cream and pear to the Croccantini.  Dust with confectioners’ sugar and scatter the remaining 1/4 cup of chopped hazelnuts over the top. Serve right away.
Original recipe found at foodandwine.com
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