Week 37 - Pear Dumplings with Caramel Glaze

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Sometimes it's a bit of a challenge to decide which recipe to use for my weekly cookbook challenge. Other times the decision is made for me. Such was the case for week 37. Last weekend Chris and I were visiting one of or favorite thrift shops, The Melamine Cup, when the owner gave us a bunch of pears to take home. I knew immediately that I would have to find a pear-based recipe and make something with them.

 Fresh picked pears

Fresh picked pears

I knew that I wanted a recipe that highlighted the pears somehow, but that also would be easy to reduce so that Chris and I weren't eating the same dessert for a week.  I finally decided on the recipe for pear dumplings with a caramel sauce from the 2011 cookbook "The Vintage Tea Party Book" by Angel Adoree.  I have three of her books and find them delightful. This particular one is full of savory and sweet recipes, perfect for a tea party.  In addition to the recipes, the book also has craft projects and hair and makeup how-to's.

 "The Vintage Tea Party Book" by Angel Adoree

"The Vintage Tea Party Book" by Angel Adoree

 The recipe for pear dumplings

The recipe for pear dumplings

The first step to the recipe was to make the dough.   This dough was a bit like making a pie crust but with the addition of baking powder and milk.  The result was a very soft and wet dough, which needed to be rolled out and cut.  At first my dough was much too wet and impossible to roll, so I slowly added a bit more flour until it was able to hold together a bit more.   Once I rolled it out, I cut it into four squares. 

 The ingredients for pear dumplings

The ingredients for pear dumplings

 The soft dough mixture

The soft dough mixture

 The dough blanket, ready for a pear

The dough blanket, ready for a pear

Once the dough was made, it was time to prepare the pears by peeling them and removing the core from the bottom using a melon baller.  Since these pears were basically from someone's front yard and never sprayed, they were bit misshapen and heavily dimpled.  As a result, it was hard to peel them completely, so I left some of the skin on.

 The cored pears

The cored pears

I then prepared a mixture of brown sugar, macadamia nuts and butter and stuffed the pears with it.  Once that was done, I wrapped the pears on the squares of dough and placed in little ramekins for baking.

 Pear filled with macadamia nuts, sugar and butter

Pear filled with macadamia nuts, sugar and butter

 Wrapped pears, ready for the oven

Wrapped pears, ready for the oven

These then went into the oven for 45 minutes.  While they were cooking the kitchen started to smell delightful so we knew these would be good!  When they came out of the oven, I was excited to see how cute they looked. The dough had puffed up a bit around the pears and the pears were golden brown and peeking out of the top.

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While they were cooling a bit, I started to make the caramel glaze of dark brown sugar, butter and water.  Once that was made, I poured the glaze over the top of the pears. I decided to serve these with a side of vanilla ice cream so I poured some of the left-over glaze on top of that as well..

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These were delicious and one of our favorite desserts I've made so far in this challenge.  The pear flavor came through and the crust was light and fluffy.  The glaze added a nice sweetness and the filling a nice crunch to the dish.  It tasted a bit like apple crisp and I think this same dish could be made with apples in place of the pears.  The macadamia nuts were nice, but they are rather expensive so I think I could substitute those for walnuts instead.  These were incredibly easy to make and I plan on doing so again.

 Pear dumplings à la mode

Pear dumplings à la mode

Week 37 Roundup

Cookbook: "The Vintage Tea Party Book" by Angel Adoree, published 2011

Recipe: Pear dumpings with a caramel glaze

Difficulty: Easy, but the book is British so you do have to convert celsius to fahrenheit and the ingredients are by weight and not volume

Alterations: None

Results: Excellent!

Make Again: Yes. I may try this with apples next time.