By now you probably know how much I love maple syrup. I use it to sweeten most things that need sweetening — coffee, the occasional homemade cocktail, baked goods, and most definitely skillet desserts. This recipe might be simple, but rest assured, it’s absolutely delicious — perfect for a night in with the hubby or doubled (even tripled) for a friendly gathering. I’ll actually go as far as to say that this post features a bonus recipe — I’m about to share my secret ingredient for my famous homemade whipped cream. I wasn’t initially going to do it, but I’m feeling generous so here goes!
Both parts of this delectable dessert use maple syrup as the sweetener. The maple pear skillet portion features the “Single Guy” strategy of making just enough dessert for the moment (no need to have leftovers to think about while you’re at work the next day — or is that just me?). And the whipped cream portion is — well, let’s be honest, you will probably eat whatever amount of whipped cream you make, so don’t go crazy with it.
Pears and your health
Before we get to the secret ingredient, I want to point out that pears are awesome. I actually didn’t grow up eating pears. I was a brat of massive proportion when it came to food as a kid (definitely not a brat in any other ways, right Mom and Dad?), and pears were not on the approved list of beige food items I would allow past my lips. They were mealy and weird, and the skin didn’t do it for me. So I didn’t start eating them — or even know what a good pear tasted like — until a few years ago. Now I’m in love. My in-laws have a tree and share their spoils with us when they can, and it’s times like these that inspire impromptu desserts like the one I’m about to share.
But back to pears being awesome — not only is a perfect pear delicious, it’s also a pretty great source of fiber and micronutrients too. In fact, pears have even more pectin (a soluble fiber) than apples (which are known for it). Foods high in soluble fiber aid in digestion by bulking the stool and absorbing toxins in the bowel. Pectin has also been shown to lower cholesterol and aid in mild constipation. Soluble fiber is also beneficial in regulating sugar absorption — something I’m being super conscious of right now since my big decision.
Pears are also a great source of vitamins C, K, and E, and minerals copper and potassium. They have a rich phytonutrient profile, which includes antioxidants like quercetin (a natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory) and glutathione which helps prevent high blood pressure and stroke. (source)
So you can feel good about this little healthy indulgence — just be realistic with the whipped cream!
Now, on with the recipe and the big reveal! (I may or may not be making a much bigger deal about the secret ingredient than I really need to…)
- 2 ripe pears, sliced thin
- 1 tbs butter
- 1 tbs almond flour
- 1 tbs crushed pecans
- 1 tbs maple syrup
- Melt 1 tbs butter in a hot skillet
- Add sliced pears, stirring/flipping to coat in butter
- Cook about 2 minutes until softened but not mushy
- Add pecans and almond flour
- Stir/flip to make sure all ingredients are coated and cooking evenly (another 30 to 45 seconds)
- Stir in 1 tbs maple syrup
- Cook for another 45 seconds to a minute, taking care not to burn the syrup but allowing it to thicken a bit
- Serve hot with a dollop of fresh whopped cream
- For the whipped cream, you want at least a cup of organic heavy cream (you know I'm not much for measuring) and at least 2 tbs of maple syrup. Add those two items to your blender along with 1 tsp vanilla extract or the inside of one whole vanilla bean and ... drumroll please! ... a generous pinch of sea salt. I know it doesn't sound like much, but I'm telling you, the sea salt takes it to the next level.
- I've also been known to make this whipped cream using a little Van Gogh Espresso Vodka. You. will. die. Soooo goood! Enjoy!