It’s a dessert! I really think that I’ve neglected desserts on this blog so far and am very happy to share this utterly delicious baked pear number as a token of my appreciation to you and as a promising start of many more to come. This particular dessert I created with the holiday spirit in mind and loaded it with spices I love for winter and Christmas alike; cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla.
It might not be a very traditional dish to serve for Christmas dinner, and I know everyone is very into their traditions and I salute you for your devotion, but I’d like to offer it up as a lighter yet delicious option to the British ‘Christmas pudding’ or the Swedish ‘ris a la Malta’. Personally neither of those are my cup of tea so this is perfect for me but if you are completely committed to your traditional dessert than these pears will hopefully come in handy at another occasion.
They are super easy to whip up and I’ve paired them with a simple vanilla spiked cashew cream and some caramelised pecan halves spiced with cinnamon because that seems like an ideal combination to me. However this dish is totally versatile and you could add any spices to the pears and top them off with whatever tickles your fancy. I always add something crunchy though, Rob taught me that every plate served needs a crunch and I must admit he’s right!
I’d really love to hear about what you guys are having for Christmas? Since becoming vegan and a lot more conscious of the ingredients that go into my food and body in general I’m slowly reinventing Christmas to suit my own wishes. It can be tricky though when you’re with the whole family and everyone has a different idea of what’s a good Christmas meal.
Traditions can be such a delicate matter, especially when you’re not following protocol people around you might feel a little irritated. Maybe some of you are new vegans wondering how to tackle the holiday season without stepping on too many toes? My best tip is to bring dishes to gatherings and if at home take charge of your destiny and make some suggestions of dishes you could make to add to what’s already on the given list.
Take the opportunity to introduce your friends and family to something new but be careful not to push them too hard during this time of year. In my experience Christmas can bring quite a bit of stress to people and I find it’s important to tap into my most loving, understanding and compassionate self during the holidays. Meaning I try to accept people for who they are and let them eat whatever they feel like without judgement. Hopefully with that spirit in mind they will do the same to me, and you.
Enough about Christmas for this time! Again I’ve made a video for this recipe as you can see above which of course I hope you enjoy! I’d love it if you had a look at my youtube channel too if you haven’t yet. And please let me know what you think, and if you have any requests of what you’d like to see on it – simply scribble it in the comments!
BAKED CARDAMOM PEARS W. VANILLA CASHEW CREAM AND CINNAMON PECANS
PORTIONS: 6 half pears/3 whole pears / TOTAL TIME: 50 min
1/2 cup pecan nuts
1 1/2 tbsp brown rice syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
3 semi-ripe/ripe pears, conference would be suitable
1/3 cup water
10 cardamom pods, seeds
2 tbsp brown rice syrup
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked
1/2 cup plant milk
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla powder
Soak the cashews for roughly eight hours or for the quick version in boiling water for about 20-30 min.
Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius.
Mix pecans with rice syrup and cinnamon until covered. Spread out on a baking sheet and place in oven for roughly 10-15 min, until they are slightly darker and caramelised. They will crisp up when they cool off so don’t worry if they don’t seem crunchy, just don’t let them get too dark and burn.
Ones you’ve taken out the pecans increase the heat of the oven to 175 degrees celsius.
Heat up water, the second amount of rice syrup listed in the ingredients along with the seeds from roughly 10 cardamom pods in a small pot. As you heat the liquid try to bash the cardamom seeds a little so that the aroma releases into it. Bring to a boil, simmer for a couple of minutes and then take off the heat.
Cut the pears in half and place cut side down in an oven dish just big enough to fit the pears. Pour the cardamom water over the pears and cover the pan with kitchen foil.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 min and then remove the foil and return to the oven for another 10 min, this should evaporate some of the water. Drain leftover water, but be careful not to lose too many cardamom seeds as these are yummy and each crunchy bite will contributr to the cardamom flavour of the dessert. Then flip the pears over so the cut side is up. Roast for another 10-15 min at the top of the oven, making sure that the pears do not burn but gently caramelise.
Whilst the pears are cooking prepare the cashew cream by draining and rinsing your soaked cashews. Place them in a blender and add you plant milk of choice, maple syrup and vanilla powder. Blend until smooth. Give it a taste and assess wether you would like it sweeter or you might want to add more vanilla or even milk to make it less thick – the choice is yours. Do however remember that the pears will be nice and sweet.
If you’d like more kick to this dessert you could add other spices and flavours to the cream like ginger juice. Or you could add a pinch of spice to the cinnamon nuts, chilli powder would make a nice addition.
Serve the pears warm with a drizzle of cashew cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon pecans.