Whole pastry baked pears make for a delicious and healthy dessert treat.
- 4 firm ripe pears, peeled leaving stems intact
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1/3 cup icing sugar
- 150g butter, chilled, chopped
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp raisin, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tbsp slivered almonds, toasted, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Double Cream or ice cream
- Stir the caster sugar and 6 cups water in a medium-large saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
- Add pears, cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 mins or until just tender.
- Lift out, drain and cool. Place, uncovered, in the fridge to chill.
- Sift flour and icing sugar into a bowl. Rub in butter until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add lemon juice and 2 tsp chilled water. Cut until mixture forms small clumps, adding another 2 tsp chilled water if needed.
- Bring dough together. Divide into 4 portions. Flatten into approx. 2cm-thick discs. Wrap and chill for 10 mins. Preheat oven to 180°C or 160°C fan forced.
- Combine the raisin, almonds and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut the core from the base of each pear.
- Roll out 1 pastry portion on a sheet of baking paper to an approx. 23cm disc. Fill 1 pear with one-quarter of raisin mixture and stand in centre. Gather pastry up and around pear, pressing gently. Trim overlapping pastry, reserving excess. Repeat with remaining pears, filling and pastry.
- Cut strips from excess pastry. Brush pastry with egg and attach strips in a spiral motion up the pear. Bake on a lined tray for 30 mins or until golden. If the tops of the pears are browning too quickly, wrap gently with foil.
- Cool slightly and serve with honey. Cream, Ice Cream or Harris Farm vanilla bean or honey cinnamon yoghurt can also make for good accompaniments