Toasted Gingerbread with Grilled Pears and Caramel

Recipe courtesy Southmoreland on the Plaza
TOTAL TIME: 2 hr 5 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive Prep: 30 min
Cook: 1 hr 15 min
 
YIELD: 4 to 6 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

  • 3 French butter pears
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 6 slices gingerbread, recipe follows
  • 1 cup caramel sauce, recipe follows
  • 6 sprigs fresh mint, for garnish
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Directions

Preheat a grill to medium heat.

Cut pears in half lengthwise. Use a melon baller, remove the seeds and core. Brush the pears with orange juice and place on the grill cut side down. Let the pears cook until they are lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes.

As the pears are cooking, place the gingerbread on the grill and lightly toast on each side. Remove the pears and the gingerbread from the grill.

To assemble, place the toasted gingerbread on a plate. Slice the pears and arrange them on top of the gingerbread. Drizzle with caramel sauce and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Gingerbread:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup molasses
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans.

Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Beat in egg and molasses. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and whisk until mixed. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and mix. Add 1/3 of the hot water and mix. Continue alternating dry ingredients and water in thirds until all is incorporated.

Pour the batter into prepared pans and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Caramel Sauce:
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Combine sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the sugar is melted and takes on a dark golden color. Add the butter and cream and whisk until smooth. Be very careful not to splash yourself, caramel is extremely hot! Let cool about 30 minutes, until thickened.

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