So dinner was a hit – to the point where my Dad actually picked up his bowl and licked it clean!  So I thought I’d try one of Jamie Oliver’s dessert recipes.  And I tell you what – it tasted every bit as delicious as the picture in his book looked.

Baked pears stuffed with almonds, orange and chocolate in flaky pastry (from Jamie’s Kitchen by Jamie Oliver)

4 ripe pears (I used buerre bosc), stems still attached
40g blanched almonds
150g butter
50g sugar
Zest and juice of 1 orange (I used a fresh one from Mum’s tree and there was far too much juice)
Seeds of 1 vanilla pod (I used 1 tsp vanilla bean paste)
70g good quality chocolate (recipe says at least 70% cocoa, but I used a mix of 85% and Green and Blacks milk chocolate), broken up really fine (bashing with a rolling pin is a good stress reliever!)
8 sheets filo pastry

Preheat oven to 170°C.

Carve the core out of the pear from the bottom, about 4cm deep, taking a bit of the flesh with it.  Peel the pears carefully.

Whiz almonds in a food processor.  They’re supposed to be really fine, although I left them a little coarse and it was still yummy.

Mix 70g butter, almonds, chocolate, zest, vanilla and juice into a paste, and divide into 3 balls.  As I had too much juice, it was too wet so I poured the excess off.  It looks manky, but don’t fret!!

Push the balls of goop up into the pears.  I had a bit left over, so you can either try and scoop out more of the inside of the pears or keep it for a bit later.

Layer 4 sheets of filo with melted butter between each sheet, then cut in half width-wise.  Repeat with the other 4 sheets of filo.  You’ll now have 4 squares of pastry sheets.

I put a blob of the leftover goop on the middle of each square, then sat a pear on each.  Wrap the filo around the pears, twisting gently at the top around the stem.  Brush outsides with the leftover butter, melted.

Bake on an oven tray (lined with paper to save on cleaning up!) for about 30min until pastry is crisp and pears cooked through.

Baked pears - mmm!

Oozey chocolatey pear

I served with a nice big scoop of vanilla ice cream and a glass of liqueur muscat (ours was from Briar Ridge vineyard in the Hunter Valley – very delicious!).