– This ricotta stuffed pear dessert recipe is delicious AND healthy! –
The end of stone fruit season is heartbreaking. All winter long I patiently wait for my first bite of peach, and then just a few short months later, it’s an exquisite memory. The whole thing is almost unbearable. It reminds me of a fleeting romance, where the first few weeks of the relationship are perfectly delicious, and then your would-be Mr. Right skips the country.
Only one thing could lessen the blow of such a tragic loss: a replacement. In this case, it’s the beginning of Asian pear season.
Late August in California signals an influx of Asian pears (also know as apple pears to some folks). These sophisticated little beauties are more than willing to step up and fill the gap left by their cheeky predecessors. Don’t let them fool you, though – while Asian pears may seem innocent enough on the outside, inside they’re literally dripping with a sensuality that rivals even your most luscious nectarine. They may start off as a replacement for your missing mate stone fruit, but they quickly take center stage.
I always get my pears from the same vendor at the Berkeley farmers market. Every Tuesday I dig through the produce booths until I find Torrey of Gabriel Farm, who, I have to say, grows the most amazing Asian pears in the Bay Area. I’ve eaten a lot of pears, and nothing comes close to those sold by this guy. Good pears are hard to find.
I created this recipe on a whim the other night, looking for a light and semi-healthy dessert that involved no refined sugar. Pear desserts are right at the top of my list this time of year. The first bite was dreamy, and every bite thereafter was kind of a blur. It was so good that I ended up eating the rest of the ricotta filling with a spoon.
I chose honey over agave since it pairs well with cinnamon, though if you really wanted to you could easily use 1 tablespoon of agave or 1/2 teaspoon of white sugar if you don’t like honey. Either way, don’t make your filling too sweet – you want the flavor of the pears to sing, not compete with your stuffing.
- 4 ripe Asian apple pears
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon honey (or more to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- Cinnamon for dusting
- Slice pears in half. Using a spoon, remove the seeds and scoop a divot out the center of each pear half, making it large enough to hold at least a tablespoon of filling.
- In a small bowl, mix ricotta and honey until they are completely combined.
- Mix in cinnamon and ginger.
- Fill the center of each pear half with ricotta filling. Don’t be afraid to heap it on – this is good stuff!
- Sprinkle the entire thing with a light dusting of cinnamon.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. If covered, they will keep a couple of hours (though don’t prepare them too far ahead of time or the pears will brown).
- Serve chilled.