Yesterday I found myself with time on my hands, the desire to bake something and these exquisite red pears.
If I were a painter I would paint still-life. Unfortunately, the best thing I ever drew was of a horse in my 5th grade art class. It took me forever and I was never able to replicate it. So, since I wasn't going to paint these pears, I did the next best thing - turned them into something yummy.
A few months back, I pinned a recipe for Cocoa Pear Crisps and decided to give it a go. They literally take no time to make and have a lovely sweet and satisfying crunch that I found really, well.... satisfying.
First, preheat your oven to 275ºF. Then start by slicing three pears into very thin slices, about 1/8 inch.
The original recipe called for a mandolin slicer to get perfectly uniform slices, but a mandolin slicer I own not. So, I just tried my best to get the slices as thin as I could. Some were a little thicker than others, but ah well - life is too short to worry about such things.
Now come the flavors. Mix together the following: 3 tablespoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon (I used Saigon Cinnamon, which I talked about in this post) and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.
The nutmeg was not in the original recipe, but it seemed like it would be a nice complement to the other spices, so I added it.
Also, uhm, can we just talk about nutmeg for a second? It is one of my favorite spices. Amazing in both sweet and savory recipes, I use it all of the time, especially in soups and meat dishes. And while you can buy it already ground in the spice aisle, I really prefer to grind my own using a microplane grater. Each little pod lasts forever and the flavor is fresher. Give it a try sometime!
Back to recipe: Place the pear slices on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and sprinkle the spice/sugar mixture lightly over the pear slices.
Bake for 30 minutes, then flip the pear slices, and bake for another 30 minutes, until the pears are browned and slightly shriveled.
**Note - if your pear slices still don't seem crispy, put back in oven and bake as long as needed, in 5 minute intervals, until desired crispness is achieved, but not burned.**
Once they have cooled, you will have these delightful little pear crisps that are not too sweet and have the perfect amount of cocoa.
I think these are perfect healthy-ish snacks for kids and adults alike. I don't know about you, but after dinner I like to have a little something sweet, and these do just the trick.
I hope you enjoy!