Friends and fellow vegans!
Quite a chunk of time has lapsed since my last update and it’s been even longer since I’ve posted regularly. So much has changed in my life, but I’m finally all moved into my new place and I have my own kitchen again! Finally no more clutter, no more waiting for room to breathe, to create, or to explore food! Still, with this new move and this new job, I often find myself too exhausted to even think about blogging. When you think about it, working on a recipe, testing it out several times (if it’s not great at once, which sometimes it’s not), photographing it, sharing a story and typing it up, posting it, and promoting it is a lot of work. It’s almost like a second job, if you aren’t careless about it.
It’s been really great taking a break from the blog, despite it being forced at first and later, a choice. Yet, I’ve decided to gradually return to this world because cooking, baking, and sharing the abundant deliciousness of vegan food is an important part of activism and as such, it’s important to me. Many of you keep asking for more recipes, which is flattering and empowering! Thank you! So, you’ll be seeing a bit more posts on here in the next few months. I’m going to try for anywhere from 2 to 3 a month depending on my schedule.
A lot of my eating habits lately have taken the focus off of baking and into more simple foods that focus on a raw ingredient. I’ve been actively trying to cut down, not on sugar, but on cakey-foods. It won’t last long, I’m sure. But for now, here’s a recipe that happened when I had a ripe pear that I didn’t just want to eat raw. Despite how simple and easy this recipe is, it’s quite impressive once served and it’s sure to make people think you’re some sort of healthy dessert genius. Let them be fooled! This dish is so naturally and perfectly sweet that it won’t give you a toothache from crazy amounts of added sugar. Served warm, it is wonderful and the pears cut so smoothly. The topping adds just the right amount of texture and crunch to the dish and if you happen to have pecan topping leftovers (it’s nearly impossible to stop yourself from eating it all at once), then you can refrigerate them and snack on them later or put them in your oatmeal the next day!
I hope you enjoy this treat as much as I did! Bon appetit and happy new year!
1 mildly ripe pair (not too ripe, Anjou and Comice pears are great for this)
1 cup apple cider
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp vegan powdered sugar
1/4 cup crushed pecans, toasted
1/4 cup raisins
2 tbsp maple syrup
In a small bowl, combine the apple cider and spices. Set aside.
Next, prepare the pecans. Put a handful of whole pecans in a thick, plastic food-grade bag, like a Ziploc, seal it and smash them with the back of a pan or a meat tenderizer (if you have one for this particular purpose!). You can also use a food processor for this, but be careful not to pulverize them; you still want to have moderately sized chunks. In a deep nonstick skillet, toast them on medium-low heat for about 2 to 4 minutes. Watch them closely and don’t let them burn! You can toss them around a bit if you like. Remove them from the pan and place them on a dish to cool.
Cut the pear in half vertically and scoop out the seeds and soft core with a round tablespoon scoop or a melonballer. You’re basically making a small, shallow cavity in order to be able to stuff the topping in. Place them, cut side up in the same nonstick pan you used to toast the pecans. Pour the apple cider/spice mixture over them, cover and poach on medium-low heat for about 7 minutes.
While the pears are poaching, prepare the topping. In a small sauce pan–a nonstick one works wonder for this, if you have one, but it’s not necessary–mix the toasted pecans, raisins, and maple syrup. Cook, stirring frequently, on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the syrup thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.
When the pears are done, remove the from the pan and carefully plate them. They will be very warm and soft so be careful not to burn yourself or squish them. Fill the middle of each pear with some of the topping. Set aside. Add the powdered sugar to the remainder of the apple cider in the pan and cook on medium high, stirring frequently, until the cider starts to thicken and becomes a glaze/sauce. Pour this over the pears and topping. Serve warm, immediately.