Roasted Cranberry-Hazelnut Filled Pears in Phyllo
This luscious dessert requires several steps, but most of the work can be done well in advance of serving, making it an easy and stunning finale to a dinner party.
Total Time: 40
Yield: 6 servings
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Grated zest of 1 medium orange
- 1/2 cup blanched hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
- 6 large ripe pears
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for brushing pears
- 6 sheets phyllo dough, defrosted
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 6 sugar cookies or gingersnaps, each about 21/2 inches wide
- 1 cup apple cider
InstructionsIn a small mixing bowl, mix together dried cranberries, orange zest, hazelnuts, and 2 tablespoons brown sugar; set aside.
Preheat oven to 400°. Butter a 9x9-inch glass or enamel baking dish; set aside. Peel pears. Slice 1/4 inch off the bottom of each pear, creating a flat bottom. Working from the bottom of each pear, use a melon baller to scoop out the center, creating a hollow about 1 inch wide. Leave the top intact. Stand each pear in a greased baking dish and brush with some butter; sprinkle the remaining brown sugar over pears. Cover tightly with aluminum foil; bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until pears are easily pierced with a paring knife. Keep covered and cool completely. Transfer to a plate. Strain the juices from the baking pan into a bowl and reserve for the sauce.
Reduce oven heat to 350°. Carefully press the cranberry filling firmly into each pear hollow.
Unroll phyllo sheets onto a flat, dry surface; cover immediately with plastic wrap and then a damp towel (phyllo can dry out quickly). Carefully remove one sheet of phyllo; lay on a dry, flat surface. Lightly butter the surface of the dough and sprinkle with sugar. Layer with another sheet; cut in half widthwise. Place a cookie in the center of each half (this helps keep the pear from breaking through the delicate phyllo); place a pear on each cookie. Mold dough around a pear from the bottom up, forming a pleated pouch. Pinch (do not twist) dough firmly against the top of the pear at the stem, arranging the excess to create a dramatic top. Transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat process with the next 5 pears. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until the tops are browned and the sides are firm; transfer to a serving platter. While the pears are baking, add cider to the reserved baking liquid. Simmer 8 to 10 minutes over medium heat until sauce thickens; serve with the pears.