Thursday, July 22, 2010

Baked Pears with Tofu Caramel and Blackberry Balsamic

I always have fun when pears are on the menu. Here's a good dessert. You could grill the pears instead of baking them (since it's summer) and if you make the sauces a little thicker (less liquid in the one, more blackberries and less liquid in the other), then cooking them isn't really necessary.
If you make this, you have earned the right to make fun of people for being afraid of vegan desserts.


Tofu Caramel-
1/2 C. sugar (more to taste)*
1/4 C. coffee
1/3 C. tofu
1/2 C. coconut milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla
pinch salt
2 tsp. or so oil

Melt sugar in coffee. While this is happening, blend the other ingredients together until smooth. Whisk into the sugar over heat and mix. Allow to simmer mildly, stirring a bit, for about 5 minutes. Cool. (* brown sugar is a great variation)

Blackberry Balsamic
1/4 C. nice balsamic vinegar (of course a pear blasamic is nice here)
a little lemon juice
1/3 C. sugar * (more to taste)
1/3 C. blackberries

Blend together and heat to simmer over medium/low. Stir occasionally for several minutes. Cool. (* again brown sugar is fun in this for a more molasses-like flavor)

Baked Pears (you can also do it on the grill)
4 red pears
a little oil
a few Tbsp. orange juice or pear juice
a few Tbsp. rose sugar (just grind rose petals and mix them with sugar)
a little saffron

Score the pears 4 times each lengthwise. Set in a baking dish, baste with orange juice and oil, sprinkle with rose sugar and saffron. Add a little orange juice or water to the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until done to a knife test (poke it with a knife to see if it's soft enuf).
Compose however you wish. I like to do it as the picture shows.

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