Virtual Vegan Potluck: Hazelnut Stuffed Pears with Maple Caramel Sauce

posted in: Dessert, Recipes | 27

Welcome to sweetveg and the Virtual Vegan Potluck! For several years, Annie, at An Unrefined Vegan, hosted a Virtual Potluck where at a certain time and day a bunch of vegan bloggers posted new recipes and linked to each other’s posts in a long chain of links from one blog post to another. It was brilliant and super fun. This post is from my first year.

At the bottom of the page you will find links that will take you forward and backward through the potluck.

This recipe for Hazelnut Stuffed Pears was inspired by a dessert in Eric Lechasseur’s book love, eric. He is a macrobiotic chef and was a co-owner of Seed Restaurant in Los Angeles, CA before it closed.

I chose the pears, hazelnuts and dried prunes because they are all grown locally in NW Washington State. I dried these Italian prunes a month ago at the height of their season in Seattle. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. I especially love the cardamom and the crunch of the toasted millet. Plus…don’t you think the millet is kind of cute?

Hazelnut Stuffed Pears with Maple Caramel Sauce

4 ripe pears (bosc, bartlett, red), choose pears that are full near the bottom, not too skinny

1/2 cup toasted and skinned hazelnuts, chopped
4 Tbsp chopped, dried prunes
2 Tbsp toasted millet
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
seeds from 1 vanilla pod (slice the pod lengthwise and gently scrape out the seeds)
1/8 tsp sea salt
6 Tbsp apple or pear juice
6 Tbsp water

2 tsp powdered kuzu
1 tsp maple syrup

1.  Heat oven to 350°.

2.  Wash each pear. Cut a small slice off the bottom of the pear so it can stand up straight. Going in from the bottom, carefully hollow out the core. Don’t go all the way to the top, just get the main core area.

3.  In a medium size bowl, mix together the filling ingredients minus the juice and water. Gently fill each pear with filling and press it in tightly.

4.  Stand all four pears in an 8″ square baking dish. Pour the juice and water around pears. Bake in oven until pears are soft, about 25 minutes. Time in oven will depend on type and ripeness of the pears. Remove from oven and place the pears on a plate, reserving the liquid.

5.  To make the sauce, strain the liquid from the baking dish into a glass measuring cup and add enough water to make 3/4 cup. Pour this into a small saucepan and add the 1 tsp maple syrup. In a separate small bowl, mix the kuzu with 2 Tbsp cool water. Whisk this into the juice. Turn the burner on medium heat and continue to whisk until the mixture comes to a gentle boil, turns clear-ish and thickens slightly. Remove from heat.

6.  To serve, carefully cut each pear from top to bottom with a sharp serated knife. Lay on plate and drizzle with sauce. You can also sprinkle some chopped, toasted hazelnuts on top.

Next up is Rosalie at The Joyful Pantry. I can’t wait to see what dessert she has created for us! When you have a chance, I encourage you to visit her site again. She has some beautiful recipes and it’s fun to read about her Indian cooking classes with her friend, Minni.

To start at the beginning go to Vegan Bloggers Unite. Otherwise, click on the images below.

27 Responses

  1. Richa

    i love pears and i love the flavorful stuffing! deliciousness.

    • littleveg

      Thank you! I really wanted the millet to work because it looks interesting and adds a nice crunch. My testers gave it their approval. I hope you like it, too!

    • littleveg

      Kuzu is a great thickener with beneficial healing qualities. I added a link in the recipe if you want to learn more.

    • littleveg

      You’re welcome. Thank you for your contribution, as well, Annie. This wouldn’t have happened without you and I am having so much fun!!! I can’t wait for the next one!

  2. tearoomdelights

    Pears and prunes are two of my favourite fruits so this sounds like my kind of dessert. Very nice indeed!

  3. Food Stories

    Just making my way through the VVP & wanted to say hey 🙂

  4. A Tablespoon of Liz

    This dessert looks so delicious and so fancy! I could definitly see myself making this for dessert when I have people over for dinner! (Or when it’s just me, haha)

  5. Somer

    I am really, really in love with this idea! I’ve never stuffed pears with anything! It’s high time! Thanks so much for being part of the potluck!

    • littleveg

      Stuffed apples are great, too. You can do this same technique, but this filling isn’t great with apples. I tried it. For apples do walnuts, currants, cinnamon, oats and a little apple juice. Yum!

  6. thecrueltyfreereview

    What a great idea! I’m used to seeing apples cored, stuffed, and baked. I never would have thought of doing something like that with pears. Fantasic dessert addition!

  7. VegansHusband

    I love stuffed fruits for desserts, but I’ve never seen them standing like that. I might just serve them that way, and let diners cut in and be surprised when they do! Thanks so much!

  8. Sophie33

    A lovely classiscal dessert! I love the kuzu with the maple syrup in the yummy sauce here! Clever idea! 🙂 A great entry for the VVP! 🙂 MMMM!