If you’re stuck in a winter-induced fruit rut, then please let me reintroduce you to an old friend: the pear, a truly luscious and delicious—yet all too often overlooked—fruit. Soft and perfectly sweet, the pear is winter’s peach. Sure, they’re easy to store and transport, making pears a good snack, but they’re so much more than that: pears pair well with chocolate and work fantastically in baked goods.
Take the recipe below, for example. Here, spiced, caramelized pears shine in a blissful parfait, layered with a not-so-sinful whip made with fat-free cream cheese and Greek yogurt. Clocking in at less than 250 calories and 11 grams of protein per serving, it sure sounds like a win to me.
Caramelized Pear Parfait with Greek Yogurt-Maple Cream
For the pears
4 pears, peeled and diced into 1 in. pieces
Juice from half a lemon
2 tbsp. butter
¼ c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. salt
For the maple cream
12 oz. fat-free cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 ½ c. nonfat plain Greek yogurt
¼ c. pure maple syrup
2 tbsp. stevia (6 packets)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1. Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Toss pears with lemon juice in mixing bowl.
3. Add pears to skillet and saute until they’re just beginning to brown, about five minutes.
4. Add sugar, salt and spices and stir to combine.
5. Increase heat to high and bring mixture to boil; once bubbling, reduce heat to medium and let simmer until pears are tender and liquid has thickened, about 10 minutes. If mixture seems dry while cooking, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
6. While pears cook, make the cream. Whisk softened cream cheese, yogurt, maple syrup, stevia and cinnamon until smoothly combined.
7. Using small clear custard cups or espresso mugs, divide half of total cream into the bottom of each glass. Divide the pears evenly among glasses. Top each with remaining cream. Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered, up to one day.
Per serving: 248 calories, 4.9 fat grams, 15 milligrams cholesterol, 438 milligrams sodium, 42 grams carbs, 4.8 grams fiber, 27 grams sugar, 11 grams protein
Becca Boyd is a wife and mom who teaches culinary courses to students at Radnor High School. She creates healthy and delicious recipes in her West Chester kitchen and blogs about them on her website, Home Beccanomics. See more of Becca’s recipe for Be Well Philly here.