If you’ve read my last post, you remember that while I’ve resolved to eat healthier, I am not giving up dessert! So for this weeks’ Friday Friandises post, I thought up a seasonal fall dessert that tastes indulgent. Indulgent is one of my favorite words and concepts if you haven’t already noticed. 🙂
Pears are smelling mighty fine lately and roasted fruit always feels like comfort food to me. This recipe kind of resembles the texture and flavor of fruit crisp, without all the butter. I wanted to incorporate some familiar Greek ingredients: honey, almonds and kataifi pastry (pictured above) are among the most common. I played with this combo a bit in my head and thus a recipe was born: Roasted Honey Almond Pears Wrapped in Kataifi
Kataifi is an ingredient feared much like Phyllo pastry is feared. It really is not difficult. The key is to accept that it does not need to appear neat or to be handled neatly. Actually, its wild shape is its beauty.
Kataifi is a thinly shredded dough made of wheat and water.The dough is squeezed through tiny holes through a disk onto a heated metal plate, circling like a tun table. It then dries into its characteristic long, thin strands. It doesn’t take long – about 2 minutes, and then it produces a fluffy pile of pastry dough! The frozen variety is also wonderful to use, but if you can get your hands on fresh…I recommend it.
Here is a link to a video on youtube that demonstrates how it is made: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXcN6XIPEeo&feature=related (You might want to turn the volume down, the machine sound is quite jarring).
It can be used for both savory and sweet dishes. One of my most successful dinner party appetizers was a kataifi wrapped scallop. mmmmmmmm. Wrap a scallop in a kataifi nest, drizzle with melted butter, season with salt and pepper and bake for 15 minutes. Then drizzle with balsamic syrup. Try this, it is Incredibly Good.
Here’s the dessert recipe:
Roasted Honey Almond Pears Wrapped in Kataifi-makes 4 small servings or 2 regular servings
2 large pears, ripe but not too soft
8 tbs honey
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup amaretto
1/2 cup sliced blanched almonds
1 tbs cinnamon (optional)
shavings of clove (optional)
Other optional additions-granola, raisins, crushed amaretti cookies, vanilla cookies, etc…anything with texture-take your pick
4 bunches kataifi pastry (a loose handful each)
Non stick spray
Preheat oven to 400F or 200C
Peel and core the pears; Cut in half lengthwise. Place in small baking dish, cut side up.
Drizzle each pear half with 1 tbs of honey each. Pour water and amaretto over the pears.
Add dashes of cinnamon and clove over the pears if you like as well.
(add dots of butter to the pears if you’re not dieting!) 🙂
Bake pears for 15 minutes.
While the pears are baking, toast the almonds in a pan on low heat until just lightly toasted-watch carefully, they burn fast!
After taking out the pears, let cool a bit, then chop them up and place in a bowl.
To the bowl, add almonds and -2/3 cup raisins, or crumbled cookies- a mix of anything you’d like- anything with texture.
Take 1/4 of the pear mixture and wrap inside a bunch of kataifi pastry. This may seem messy and difficult- but remember: it does not need to be neat. It looks beautiful no matter how uneven it may seem. Repeat with the rest 3 times.
Spray the non-stick spray on the bottom of a foiled baking dish.
Drizzle the rest of honey over the kataifi rolls and continue baking for 15-20 minutes, until katifi looks golden. (Again, if you don’t mind the butter, drizzle 1/4 cup melted butter as well over the rolls if you like).
Enjoy! You can add some ice cream to this with another drizzle of honey, although its satiating with its own roasted cinnamon honey pear goodness. 🙂
Let me know if you have any questions or to tell me how it turned out for you.
*above pic is from Danielle Sucher (sorry I didn’t take my own, I left my camera at a friends’ house)
More in a few days!