My Grower’s market lately is as depressing as this weather. Too many cauliflower and not enough fruit. Granted my state of pregnancy has changed my tastes in that quesadillas with American cheese is all I want to eat for every meal, but still. One fruit that’s hanging around and often overlooked? Pears! Sure, they’re easy to store and transport, making pears a good snack, but they’re so much more than that: pears pair well with chocolate and work fantastically in baked goods.
Take the recipe below, for example. Here, spiced, caramelized pears shine in a blissful parfait, layered with a not-so-sinful whip made with fat-free cream cheese and Greek yogurt. Clocking in at less than 250 calories and 11 grams of protein per serving, it sure sounds like a win to me.
I used truvia/stevia in this recipe, which is something you don’t normally see on homebeccanomics. I use truvia in my tea, coffee, and occasionally in oatmeal/Greek yogurt. It’s Clean Eating approved, which is good enough for me. I never bake with it and in the following recipe you will see that it sweetens the cream. Though this is most definitely a “healthy” dessert, I should tell you I gave the leftovers to my brother’s girlfriend and by the yummmms resonating from the kitchen I knew she was enjoying it as a true dessert, not any sort of health food.
Caramelized Pear Parfait with Greek Yogurt-Maple Cream
For the pears
4 pears, peeled and diced into 1 in. pieces
Juice from half a lemon
2 tbsp. butter
¼ c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. salt
For the maple cream
12 oz. fat-free cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 ½ c. nonfat plain Greek yogurt
¼ c. pure maple syrup
2 tbsp. stevia or truvia (6 packets)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1. Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Toss pears with lemon juice in mixing bowl.
3. Add pears to skillet and saute until they’re just beginning to brown, about five minutes.
4. Add sugar, salt and spices and stir to combine.
5. Increase heat to high and bring mixture to boil; once bubbling, reduce heat to medium and let simmer until pears are tender and liquid has thickened, about 10 minutes. If mixture seems dry while cooking, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
6. While pears cook, make the cream. Whisk softened cream cheese, yogurt, maple syrup, stevia and cinnamon until smoothly combined.
7. Using small clear plastic wine glasses or espresso mugs, divide half of total cream into the bottom of each glass. Divide the pears evenly among glasses. Top each with remaining cream. Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered, up to one day.
Per serving: 248 calories, 4.9 fat grams, 15 milligrams cholesterol, 438 milligrams sodium, 42 grams carbs, 4.8 grams fiber, 27 grams sugar, 11 grams protein