Sometimes a traditional pastry crust just doesn’t do justice to a spectacular filling. This is one of those times. This no-need-to-cook food processor pastry is chock full of flavour and nutrients, and is refrigerated so it can be prepared the day before. So too can the ‘creamy’ cheese filling. Each pear variety has its own personality in texture and flavour. Choose a mild and sweet variety with subtle, fragrant citrus notes – bartlett pear comes to mind.
This nourishing No-Bake Poached Pear Flan with lime cream contains ‘good carbs’ that will keep you strong, boost your energy and help you stay healthy.
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger, plus
2 cm (¾ in) piece ginger, peeled
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 medium pears
½ cup (110 g/3¾ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
2 whole star anise
1 small lime, thinly sliced
2 cups (500 ml/17 fl oz) soda water (club soda)
Ingredients - Lime cream
¾ cup (200 g/7 oz) ricotta
½ cup (100 g/3½ oz) reduced-fat cream cheese
½ cup (130 g/4½ oz) natural yoghurt
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
2 tablespoons warmed honey
Line a 23 cm (9 in) flan (tart) pan with baking paper with overhanging sides to make it easy to lift the flan out. Put the coconut in a food processor and blitz until fine. Add the hazelnuts, dates, finely grated ginger and cinnamon and pulse to a fine-crumb texture. Don’t worry if it is a bit more coarse than fine. Tip the mixture into a bowl and, using your hands, clump it together and press it evenly into the base and sides of the prepared tin. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes, until firm. Peel the pears, cut into thick wedges and remove the core (leave the stalk on for decoration if you like).
Put the sugar, peeled ginger, star anise, lime and soda water in a large pan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, then reduce the heat to low and drop in the pears. Cover the pan and gently simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the pears are just tender. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the pears to cool in the liquor. Lift the pears out with a slotted spoon and drain well.
Whisk together the ricotta, cream cheese, yoghurt, lime zest and 1½ tablespoons of the honey until smooth and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the flan and arrange the pears on top. Brush the pears with the remaining honey.
Recipe and image from The Good Carbs Cookbook by Dr. Alan Barclay, Kate McGhie and Philippa Sandall (Murdoch Books). The Good Carbs Cookbook helps you choose the best fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, lentils, seeds, nuts and grains and explains how to use them in 100 refreshingly nourishing recipes to enjoy every day, for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and dessert.
These raw vegan tarts created by nutritionist Hayley Richards are a great healthy dessert option free of refined sugars and gluten and packed with nutrients you’d usually miss out on with more traditional desserts.
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