I received pears in my CSA box yesterday which was a bit of a surprise, as I tend to focus on them more in the fall. But I’m always game to put produce to new uses, and I love the combination of pears and almonds. This recipe was adapted from a friend who was in my chef program. Its flour-less and therefore gluten free. The result was light and decadent (if that makes sense) – and just in time for Valentine’s Day…
Almonds are amazing! They’re a great source of vitamin E, with just 1/4 cup providing 60 percent of the recommended daily allowance. They also have good amounts of magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, fiber and considered a healthy fat. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, almonds are considered anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, emollient and are also used as a tonic. They are also known as brain and bone food, probably due to their high calcium content. They help with alkalizing the blood and relieve chi stagnation in the liver. Eating a handful as a snack is optimal and good for curbing hunger pangs.
Pear Almond Torte
3 cups blanched almonds
1 cup maple syrup
6 whole eggs
2 tsp almond extract
¼ tsp salt
4 whole pears
2 TB lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 pinch sea salt
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
Grind almonds in the food processor until fine like flour. Add the maple syrup, eggs, almond extract and salt, process for a few minutes. Be careful not to over process. Pour into a parchment lined 8-inch spring form pan. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 375 F for 20-25 minutes, (or until the cake no longer jiggles). Let cool.
Peal, core and slice pears. Add pears, lemon juice and salt to skillet. Cook the pears on medium until soft. Add water if needed while you cook the pears. When they are caramelized, add them to the top of the cake in circular fashion. Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon and nutmeg.
>>If chocolate is your fancy for Valentines’ Day – here are some other favorite dessert recipes:
Chocolate Beet Cake (with its lovely red hue)
Chocolate Zucchini Cake (make a pink frosting)