Spiced Pear and Almond Sesame Parfait

Last week was the final week of the fruit share for the season from my CSA. Bless them… for a good portion of the fruit share I received apples and pears. So much so – that I just could not eat them fast enough. I decided that the best use for the pears was a spiced pear parfait.


 I spiced up the pears with a bit of cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom- scented them with vanilla and added some golden raisins to it. The combination of golden raisins and cardamom are classic combinations along the Silk Road- adding just a bit of bite to the sweet moist plump raisins.

Then I made some tofu cream- for all those out there that are vegan or avoiding dairy all together. I spiced up Silken Tofu with vanilla and blanched almonds. To top off this creamy Sunday, I made a sweet and salty almond crunch. 

A beautiful presentation in a glass with layers of golden pears and lightly colored cream laced with cinnamon. Whip some up in the fall when pears are at their peak. Thanks to Amy from the FragrantVanilla Cake for sharing this recipe and inspiring me to recreate desserts into healthier wholesome delights.

Serves 4


Ingredients


Pear Filling

4 Forelle Pears, peeled, cored and cubed

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup golden raisins

2-teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2-teaspoon cardamom

1/4-teaspoon nutmeg

2-teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch sea salt


Cream

1 package silken tofu

1/4-cup maple syrup 

1/4 cup blanched almonds

1/4-cup raw white sesame seeds

1-tablespoon vanilla extract

1-teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/8 tsp sea salt



Nut topping (optional)

½ cup sliced almonds

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

2-tablespoon maple sugar

1/8-teaspoon sea salt


                      1      Place pears in a skillet over medium heat and combine with sugar, raisins, lemon juice, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg. Stir occasionally so that the pears don’t stick to the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes or until pears have softened. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract, and salt. Let mixture cool completely then place in the refrigerator until cold.


                       2      To make cream: In a food processor, combine tofu, maple syrup, almonds, sesame seeds, vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon, lemon juice and salt and process until very smooth. Place in the fridge to chill until very cold before assembling parfaits.


                         3      To make nut topping:  preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with foil, and spray with non-stick spray. Toss almonds, sesame seeds, maple syrup and salt until well combined. Spread out on prepared sheet, and bake for 7 minutes until seeds are fragrant and toasted. Remove pan from oven and let cool completely.


                       4       To assemble:  line up 4 (8 ounce glasses). Place a third of the cream in the bottom of each, dividing evenly between the three.  Top with half the pear mixture, dividing evenly between the three, then half the remaining cream, then the rest of the pears, then the last of the cream.  Top with the almond sesame mixture. Serve immediately.