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Friday, March 22, 2013

Cream Cheese Stuffed Pear Dumplings with Praline Sauce
We had such a lovely day last Saturday planting our Spring garden out in the gorgeous weather.  Of course I had help!  Afterwards, we scrubbed the dirt from our hands and sat out on the front porch swing and enjoyed these amazing stuffed pear dumplings.  These may look fancy, but they are super simple to make.  Just peel and core, stuff, wrap, and bake the pears.  I'm sure apples would work will as well if that is your preference.  

You could also top them as you choose - it's YOUR dish!  My first topping is a praline sauce.  By all means, if you have any left over, save it for topping your ice cream.  DeLISH!!  The second, because I have a little girl who adores berries, is a mixed berry sauce (This one would be fabulous over pancakes as well).  And who knew that they would work so well together! - one silky, creamy and sweet, the other with a slight tartness to brighten up the bite.   

As always, I'll take you through each step of what I did.  By the way, the sauces could easily be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until you need them.  Just heat them up before serving.

Ingredients:  (for 4 pears)         Click for Printable Recipe
  • Pears (you can also use apples)
    • 4 red d'Anjou pears
    • 1 box of Pillsbury roll out pie crust
    • 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
    • 4 Tbsp powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)
    • 1 egg white + 1 Tbsp water for an egg wash
    • decorating sugar
  • Praline Sauce
    • 4 Tbsp butter
    • 3/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup canned evaporated milk (or you can use heavy cream)
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla (I always use clear Mexican vanilla)
  • Berry Sauce
    • 1 cup frozen mixed berries 
    • 2 Tbsp raspberry preserves
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Mix your filling before preparing the pears so they won't sit and oxidize (brown).   Mix the softened cream cheese and the confectioner's sugar.  That's all there is to it!
8 oz cream cheese + 4 Tbsp confectioner's sugar
Peel the pears.  Do NOT remove the stem!

Remove a small slice from the bottom of the pears so they will sit flat.
Core the pears to remove as much of the core and seeds as you can without disturbing the stem.   I found that a melon baller worked great for this job.
Unroll the pie crust on a lightly floured surface.
You'll want to roll it out a bit larger than it already is, but don't get it too thin.
Cut out a circle in the dough using a paring knife.  I used a bowl because I doubt I could cut a perfect circle by eye!  Do whatever works for you.
Fill the pears with the cream cheese mixture using a narrow spoon.  (I think I may have used one of Lily's spoons.)

Wrap the pear in the pastry crust one side at a time, brushing lightly with the egg wash so it will stick together.  For the egg wash, just mix together an egg white and water.
Continue in one direction around the pear until it's all wrapped up.
Sprinkle with large decorating sugar.  They just make it so pretty!  I knew that I'd better do it over a bowl or else it would be everywhere!  HaHa
Now out of any left over pastry crust, cut out some "leaves." Apply them using the egg wash to "glue" them to the crust.  Sugar them as well so they won't feel left out.  Set the pears in a baking dish that you have lined with parchment paper.  You do not want them to stick, and this will make your cleanup a snap!  

Cover the stems with little bits of aluminum foil.  You don't want them to burn.  Bake at 400 F for about 40 minutes.
For the last 10 minutes, I covered the tops loosely with aluminum foil so the bottom parts would brown a little more.

For the Praline Sauce.
Melt butter into a saucepan.
4 Tbsp butter
Add brown sugar and let it all come to a nice bubbling mess!
3/4 cup brown sugar
Add in the evaporated milk or cream.
1/2 cup evaporated milk
Add in the vanilla.
1/2 tsp good quality vanilla
Bring to a nice boil and the thickeners will start to do their work.  Then you can bring the heat back down to maybe medium, letting it bubble gently until it has reduced and thickened to a nice syrup.  This will probably take about 10 minutes.  You don't want to overcook it, or you will actually make praline candy.  Set aside and let it cool a bit or you will blister someone's mouth!  You want to serve warm, not hot.

Now for the Berry Sauce.
Grab a bag of frozen mixed berries from the freezer and dump some into a saucepan.  Yes, you can certainly use fresh if you have them on hand.
1 cup mixed berries
Add in the preserves.  They will act as a thickening agent because of the pectin in them.
2 Tbsp raspberry preserves
Add in some sugar if you want the berries to be a bit less tart.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Allow them to come to a boil and cook down for a while.
I used a potato masher to break up the larger berries.  It's still a little bit chunky, but the strawberries were huge.  The consistency of the final sauce is totally up to you.

Allow to cook down and reduce until syrupy.  Then set aside to cool.
Top the baked pears with a bit of each sauce.  You can make a bed of the berry sauce, then drizzle the praline sauce over the top if you wish.  Or serve either one alone... or serve them totally naked!  The point is to have fun with it and please the palates of whomever you are serving.  Garnish with extra fresh berries and sprigs of mint. 

The whole point is to enjoy them with someone you love. 

And just so you know... we really were out planting.  We filled containers out on the deck as well as the garden and flowers by the garage just for good measure.  I don't just make up these stories!  Ha!

We'll need lots of tomatoes!

I hope you have enjoyed this recipe.  If you'd like to see more of what we cook around here, please visit my Recipe Index.  There are tons of ideas on there of things you can cook for/with your family.

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  1. I found you on Pinterest and wow, your recipes look amazing! The Brie appetizer is definitely on my "must try" list:)

    1. Victoria - welcome aboard!! So glad you found me. Stop in any time and bring some friends! :)


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