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Baked Pears with Sweetened Ricotta
Pere Al Forno Con Ricotta
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4 form pears, preferably Barlett, peeled, halved, cored and brushed with lemon juice
2 cups water
2 cups sweet Marsala wine
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup low-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup low-fat ricotta
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, grated
4 tablespoons chopped, toasted hazelnuts or almonds
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the pears in a deep baking dish, approximately 6 x 6 x 4 inches. In a small saucepan, bring the water, Marsala wine and sugar to a boil over high heat to dissolve the sugar. Pour the boiling Marsala mixture over the pears and bake in the oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes. They are done when a knife easily pierces the pear. Remove the pears from the oven and let them rest in the liquid for 30 minutes to cool slightly, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Beat the cream cheese until soft. Beat in the ricotta and powdered sugar, mixing well. Set aside.
Remove the pears from the cooking liquid and set aside. In a medium saucepan set on medium-high heat, reduce the cooking liquid to 1 cup, about 15 minutes.
To serve, cut a slice from the bottom of each pear half to make them lie flat. Place a chilled pear half, cut-side-up, on a serving plate. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture on top and drizzle with the reduced cooking liquid. Sprinkle with the grated chocolate and chopped nuts.
©2013 Nick Stellino Productions