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Pear Pastry with Brandied Cherries

March 17, 2009 | Posted by admin

Ingredients:

Pastry:
3     Tbsp Brownwood Acres Montmorency Dried Tart Cherries, chopped
3     Tbsp brandy
2     Tbsp unsalted butter
1     Tbsp brown sugar
4     cups pears (about  3 large) Anjou or Bartlett, cut into 1 /2 inch chunks
1/8 tsp salt
2     tsp lemon juice
12   sheets phyllo dough, thawed
cooking spray

brandy

Topping:
2      Tbsp unsalted butter
2      Tbsp brown sugar
1      Tbsp brandy
4      Tbsp walnuts, chopped
cinnamon
Ice cream (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl combine chopped dried cherries and 3 Tbsp brandy; set aside and let soak.  In a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp butter.  Add 1 Tbsp brown sugar and cook, stirring for 2 minutes.  Add the pears and salt; continue to cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the pears’ liquid is mostly cooked off.   Add the brandied cherry mixture, and cook another 3 minutes, stirring, until  the pear mixture has a glaze.   Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and stir to blend.  Pour mixture into a deep dish pizza pan and spread to a thin layer.  Place the pan in the freezer while  you prepare the phyllo dough.

Spray a large, flat surface with cooking spray.  Using half of the 12 phyllo sheets, layer 1 sheet of phyllo dough over the cooking spray.  Spray the sheet with cooking spray and layer a second sheet on top of the first.  Continue this process  until you have 6 sheets layered on top of one another.  Cut the stack of phyllo dough in half.  Repeat above procedure with the remaining 6 sheets of phyllo dough.  You will have four pastry stacks.   Remove the pear mixture from the freezer and spoon 1/4 of the mixture into the center of  each phyllo dough stack.  Bring 4 corners of one of the phyllo dough stacks to the center of the pear mixture, covering and forming a pocket.  Pull in any sides of the phyllo dough that stick out forming a square.  Repeat with remaining phyllo dough stacks.  Transfer the pastry pockets to a parchment-lined baking sheet, or use a non-stick baking sheet sprayed lightly with cooking spray.  Bake for 25 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and pear mixture is bubbly.

Remove from the oven, and place on a cooling rack.  In the same non-stick skillet, melt 2 Tbsp butter; add 2 Tbsp brown sugar and 1 Tbsp brandy.  Cook until mixture is heated through and thickened to a sauce like texture.  Add the walnuts and stir to combine.  Spoon over the cooked pastries.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.  Serve warm with or without ice cream.

Yield:  4 servings

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