Capture the sunny flavor of freshly squeezed orange juice in these bright and refreshing citrus bars. The filling is flavored with naturally sweet orange juice and naturally zesty grated orange peel, and then baked on a delicious shortbread crust. A dusting of powdered sugar tops it off. If you are looking for a light, cheerful dessert, this is a great option.
Sometimes I find a recipe that is so easy and so lovely that I want to make it many times for lots of different people. That is how I feel about this poached pear recipe. There is something festive about pears in the late autumn and winter time. So much of the fruit has gone out of season and does not keep well, but pears and citrus keep well and travel well, and are a welcome burst of color and flavor in these cold months. Of course pears have lots of health benefits too, as they contain lots of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and antioxidants. I mentioned in a previous post that I am reading a book called Beyond the Mediterranean Diet by Layne Lieberman. The poached pear recipe below comes from that book. The only variation I added was that I drizzled chocolate sauce over the pears when I served them. I can rarely resist a chance to add chocolate to something. Sorbet or ice cream would also be a nice accompaniment. But they tasted completely delicious without the chocolate sauce too. The white wine and maple syrup go together so nicely and give the pears a delicately sweet, sparkling flavor. And truly, this is one of the easiest desserts I have ever made. All you need are just a small amount of basic ingredients and about 35 minutes, most of which is baking time. During this busy time of year, it can be a blessing to find something easy and light. If you are looking for something healthy, quick, natural, and uplifting for dessert, I would recommend trying this.
4 firm-ripe pears, cored and sliced in half (I sometimes peel the pears and sometimes don’t, depending on how nice the skin looks and depending on who is eating them–some people prefer fruit peeled and some don’t)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup white wine (sweet or dry) or sparkling cider
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, combine the pears, water, and white wine. Add the maple syrup and cinnamon, and stir until the pears are evenly coated. Spoon the pears into an 8-inch square glass baking dish. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the pears are tender. Serve warm, on their own, or drizzle with chocolate sauce if desired. Add ice cream or sorbet on the side, if desired. Enjoy!
This recipe is adapted from Beyond the Mediterranean Diet by Layne Lieberman