This recipe is both light and very tasty. Pears are roasted with spices (you can feel saffron, star anise and cinnamon at the same time in one bite!) and cream cheese is whipped with vanilla (but not too much as we want to keep cream cheese flavors).
Have you ever thought of using cream cheese in a dessert? I mean except for preparations such as cheesecakes ? Here is what I proposed last May at a cheese recipe contest organized for the “Cheese Up Your Life” European program.
As the other food bloggers, I had to prepare 1 tapas and 1 dessert using two kinds of cheese: a traditional French cheese and a modern cheese. The cheeses I had to cook were a pretty heart shape soft cheese called Neufchâtel that I used for the tapas recipe (see the link below) and a cream cheese called Saint Môret (a bit like Philadelphia). I also had many ingredients on hands: fresh fruits, herbs and spices, grocery … and 1h30 to make both recipes.
With this recipe and the Zucchini and Cheese Rolls with Dried Fruits and Nuts I won the French session of the cheese contest.
Spiced Roasted Pears with Whipped Vanilla Cream Cheese
- 2 large pears Comice or similar
- 2 tablespoons acacia honey
- 2 knobs butter
- 4 whole star anise
- 4 saffron pistils
- 2 Sichuan peppercorn
- 1 small piece cinnamon stick
- 1 small tub ocream cheese 140 gr (such as Saint Moret, Philadelphia or similar)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 French crepe
- Start by making the syrup in which you will leave the spices to steep. Pour around 300-400 ml of water into a pan with the honey and the spices.
- As soon as the syrup boils, turn down the heat, add the knob of butter and leave to steep over a gentle heat. It may reduce slightly.
- Place the crepe on a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper. Put it in the oven for a few minutes at 160°C, just long enough for it to harden a little.
- Meanwhile peel, deseed and chop the pear. Over a medium heat, poach the pieces of pear in the syrup for a good 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and allow to stand.
- The pear should not cook too much, but should absorb the flavours of the spices.
- Tip the cream cheese into a bowl and soften with a whisk, gradually adding the vanilla extract. Taste regularly and stop when the flavour is right for you and balanced.
- Arrange the pear in the bottom of the glasses or on a plate. Top with a blob of whipped cream cheese and finish with a sliver of crepe.
Bon appétit !