Reminiscent of the traditional sweet and flaky Greek dessert, Baklava stuffed pears are lighter, fruiter and also suitable for your gluten-free friends! The mix of pears with spices, honey, and nuts is perfect for a quick and easy dessert to make this summer, one that you can dress up or down depending on what you’re craving: plain, with Greek yogurt, or alongside a scoop of ice cream drizzled with chocolate. Are you vegan? Substitute the honey for maple syrup and serve alongside vegan ice cream made from coconut or oat milk!
What is Baklava?
Baklava is a traditional pastry known for its sweet, rich flavor and flaky texture. It consists of phyllo dough, nuts, spices, and a sugary syrup. Though baklava is often associated with Greek restaurants now, its exact origins are unclear. Food historians think modern baklava may have been invented in Turkey during the Ottoman Empire, then modified in Greece. However, the technique of layering unleavened bread with nuts and honey can be traced back as far as the 8th century B.C.E. during the Assyrian Empire.
What you need for Baklava Stuffed Pears
Pears - Sweet, juicy pears add a much needed base to the nut “stuffing”. We leave the peels on the pear because they contain the antioxidant quercetin which aids in heart health. They will become soft in the baking process so they are really easy to eat if peels aren’t usually your thing. Plus the peels (and pears in general) are super healthy for you. With about 100 calories per pear, high water content, vitamins and fiber which aids in digestion and helps keep you full. This dish is so yummy you’ll forget that it’s actually good for you!
Nut Mixture - We recommend a mixture of walnuts, pistachios and hazelnuts. Traditional baklava most often just uses pistachios; however, we find the mixture adds a more complex flavour and added crunch to the recipe.
Cinnamon and Clove - Aromatic spices like cinnamon and clove provide a warmly sweet taste to desserts. This spice duo will have your mouth watering from the first bit and have you coming back for seconds (or thirds!).
Sweetener - Our recipe calls for brown sugar and honey. If your vegan, maple syrup is the perfect substitute for honey.
How to make Baklava Stuffed Pears
Cut the pears in half lengthwise and core them using a spoon or melon baller.
In a small bowl combine the chopped nuts, brown sugar, cloves and cinnamon and stir to combine.
On a baking dish, evenly space out the pears skin side down. If they do not stand up on their own cut a small slice off of the bottom of the pear.
Heat the lemon juice, butter and honey in a small sauce pan until it simmers. Remove from heat. Using a brush, spread the butter mixture over each pear.
Pour a spoonful of the walnut mixture in the center of each pear.
Lastly, pour ½ cup of water in the bottom of the pan and bake for about 25 minutes or until the pears have softened and the walnuts browned.
Serve warm with an extra drizzle honey or top with ice cream!