Almond-Pear Gratins

Almond-Pear Gratins

Pears baked in almond tea take on a flavor reminiscent of amaretto but at a fraction of the calories. The crunch of sugar-crusted almonds against tender fruit reveals an intriguing interplay of textures—a critical component of taste pleasure.

From EatingWell: January/February 1997, The EatingWell Diabetes Cookbook (2005)
Yield: 4 servings
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients

Sugared Almonds

  1. 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  2. 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  3. 1 large egg white
  4. 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Pears

  1. 1 1/4 cups water
  2. 4 almond-flavored herbal tea bags
  3. 5 teaspoons brown sugar, or Splenda Granular
  4. 1 tablespoon orange juice
  5. 4 teaspoons lemon juice, divided
  6. 2 firm Bosc pears

Preparation

  1. To prepare almonds: Preheat oven to 300°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Mix together sugar and orange zest in a small bowl. Whisk egg white in another bowl until frothy; add the almonds and toss to coat thoroughly. Drain the almonds in a sieve, then toss with the sugar-zest mixture. Spread the coated almonds on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake the almonds for 10 minutes. Stir well, spread out again and bake for 5 minutes more. Stir again and bake until toasted and crisp, about 2 minutes more. Loosen the almonds from the baking sheet with a spatula; set aside.
  4. To prepare pears: While the almonds are baking, bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Let steep for 10 minutes. Squeeze the tea bags over the pan, then discard the bags. Stir brown sugar (or Splenda), orange juice and 1 teaspoon lemon juice into the tea.
  5. Increase oven temperature to 450°.
  6. Peel pears, halve lengthwise and cut out the cores. Toss with the remaining 3 teaspoons lemon juice. Place the pear halves, cut-side down, in 4 individual gratin dishes and put the dishes on a baking sheet. Spoon the tea mixture over and around the pears.
  7. Bake, uncovered, until the pears are tender, basting from time to time, about 35 minutes. Sprinkle the reserved almonds over the pears. Serve immediately.

Tips & Notes

Nutrition

Nutrition Per Serving: 185 calories; 7 g fat (1 g sat, 4 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 4 g fiber; 17 mg sodium; 246 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Fiber (17% dv).

2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 2 other carbohydrate, 1 1/2 fat