This past week I was in the Bay Area for a nutrition conference. It was a wonderful conference with a lot of great speakers and I am so glad that I attended. On the last day of the conference, one of the seminars was all about gluten-free and dairy-free cooking/baking with less sugar. It was like it was made just for me! Chef Rachel Albert- Matesz was the presenter and she demonstrated a few of her recipes, too. Chef Rachel is the author of two cookbooks, including The Ice Dream Cookbook: Dairy-Free Ice Cream Alternatives with Gluten-Free Cookies, Compotes and Sauces. While I do not own the book, I am familiar with some of the recipes and would like to share one today. This recipe for poached pears is so good! While most recipes for poached pears have loads of sugar, this one has NO refined sugar in the recipe. And, trust me, you will not know that it is missing. This is a great dessert for fall and the cooler weather months. So, enjoy!
Poached Pears with Raisins & Dried Apricots
½ cup of raisins
½ cup dried, pitted, unsulphured apricots, chopped coarsely (Turkish apricots work best here)
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
6 medium-sized pears
Zest of ½ and orange
1 1/3 cups filtered water, divided
1 Tbsp. arrowroot powder
Chop dried apricots into ¼ inch pieces. Combine them with the raisins and cinnamon in a large sauté pan.
Wash and peel pears and cut in half from end to end. Scoop out and discard the seeded center.
Arrange pears cut side down over the dried fruit mixture. Add orange zest and 1 cup of water. Sprinkle with more cinnamon, if desired.
Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat – do not stir. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes, until the pears are tender.
While the pears are simmering, dissolve the arrowroot in ¼ cup of cold water and set aside.
When pears are done, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a platter or individual serving bowls. Leave the dried fruit mixture in the pan. Stir the arrowroot mixture and then add it to the pan. Simmer over medium-high heat and stir until think and saucy. Spoon this mixture over the pears.
Serve warm, top with vanilla ice cream, if desired.
I’m a firm believer that gluten free does not have to be hard to make or taste bad. There are so many naturally gluten free foods in our world that taste good and are good for you. While it’s easy to buy gluten free products, it’s so much healthier, tastier and more rewarding to make something that is naturally gluten free!