I adapted this recipe from an articie on low-cholesterol food in BBC Good Food magazine. Despite being virtuously fat-free, it is surprisingly nice. I love pears with ginger, and chocolate and ginger are good too, so it seemed like a no-brainer to add ginger to the recipe. I expect it would be even better with cream poured over it, but then the “low-fat” label would be gone!
It’s best eaten warm, but let it stand for 10 minutes after removing from the oven so that the pears aren’t scaldingly hot.
- 2-3 pears, depending on size.
- juice 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbsp Muscovado sugar
- 1/2 knob of stem ginger in syrup (optional)
- 4 tsp Poire William, kirsch, or cognac (optional)
- 50 g icing sugar
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 25 g ground almonds
- 1 egg white
Preheat the oven to 160C (140 fan). Peel, core and dice the pears, and put in a small pan with the lemon juice and sugar. Bring to the boil, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and cook for 5-8 minutes more to reduce the liquid to a syrupy consistency, raising the heat if necessary. The pear pieces must remain whole. If using the alcohol, which givies it some extra oomph, add it now. Spoon the mixture into 4 small ramekins.
Finely chop the ginger and scatter over the pears. To make the topping, blend the dry ingredients in a bowl (sift the sugar if it is lumpy). Whisk the egg white till stiff, then fold into the cocoa mixture. The result will look rather strange, but don’t worry. Dollop a spoonful on top of each ramekin and shake the ramekin or use the back of a spoon to level the top and ensure the pears are covered.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the topping is firm to the touch. When it has cooled slightly, it will be crispy on top and slightly squishy underneath. According to the magazine, this has a mere 140 calories per serving!