If apples were pears
And peaches were plums
And chevre had a different name
If sugar was ne’er
And cognac was rum
I’d love you just the same
Here it is, folks… a fabulous dessert filled with protein, vitamins and minerals and topped off with great taste… the finale of our Mediterranean small plates evening. It’s surprisingly easy, too.
I made the little rolls a couple of days ahead and froze them on a baking sheet. On party day, they went straight from the freezer into my preheated oven at dessert time, and in a few minutes they were ready to plate.
I bought the phyllo dough, so all I had to do was defrost it in the fridge overnight on the day of assembly. I made the lavender honey and spiced sugar in the morning so they had time to develop flavors. The pear filling was easy to make, too.
Just read the whole recipe before you start. Prepare all your ingredients in the order I suggest. Make up your rolls a few days ahead. And plate your dessert after you take the little beauties from the oven on party day. Easy peasy!
Savory pear taquitos
• 1 cup mild honey
• 1 tablespoon dried lavender buds (or 2 tablespoons fresh buds) – Optional! If you have a tasty honey no other flavor is necessary.
1. In small saucepan, combine honey and lavender. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
2. Remove from heat and set aside to steep 30 minutes.
3. Strain honey into heat-proof bowl. Discard lavender.
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1. Mix well and set aside to develop flavor
• ½ teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
• 3 Bosc or Bartlett pears, cored and sliced
• 1/4 cup butter
• 1 1/2 tablespoons spiced sugar (recipe above)
• 1 tablespoon cognac, optional
• 1 teaspoon lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon water
• 1 teaspoon cornstarch
• 2 cups soft goat cheese
• 1/2 cup ground pistachios
1. In a small cup, mix the cornstarch with the water and lemon.
2. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, saute the pears in butter and rosemary, about 2 minutes until tender.
3. Add 1½ tablespoons of the spiced sugar and a splash of cognac.
4. Stir into pears.
5. Add the cornstarch mix and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
6. Add cognac if using.
• 8 sheets phyllo dough
• butter-flavored cooking spray
• 3 tablespoons spiced sugar (recipe above)
• 2 cups soft goat cheese
• 1/4 cup ground pistachios for garnish
1. Set oven at 375F.
2. Spray baking sheet with oil.
3. Evenly stack sheets of phyllo.
4. Slice stack in half lengthwise and cover the stack with a barely damp towel.
5. Remove one piece of phyllo and spritz it with spray, especially at the edges.
6. Sprinkle lightly with ½ teaspoon spiced sugar.
7. Put 1 tablespoon of the pear filling at one end and roll up toward the other end. Press ends together. Place on baking sheet, loose side down. Freeze at this point until ready to use.
8. Spray the tops with oil and sprinkle with a bit more sugar.
9. Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden and crisp.
10. Serve warm or at room temperature, each with 1/4 cup goat cheese, 2 tablespoons honey drizzle, and 1 tablespoon pistachios.
I ran this recipe through EaTracker and was pleasantly surprised.
The damage: 390 calories for two taquitos served with goat cheese, honey and pistachios. You get 30 grams of the demon sugar and 10 grams of saturated fat. This is a fairly modest count, compared with most desserts!
On the plus side: You get 10 grams unsaturated fat (the good kind), 10 grams of protein to slow the sugar absorption, and 15% of your daily fiber requirement (3 grams).
This dessert is an excellent source of iron, vitamin A, vitamin E, thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, and riboflavin. It is also a good source of folate and calcium.
What a wonderfully delicious way to crown a great dinner party with good health!
Vinny cooks up an internet dinner – For the full menu and other recipe links to this special meal.