Moscato-Poached Pears

This simple poaching method produces a beautifully-light dessert.

Ingredients:
6 Bosc pears
2 cups Moscato
½ cup honey
1½ cups water
Pinch of salt

Method:
1. Peel pears (optional); cut each in half lengthwise and remove cores (a melon baller works well for this).

2. In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring to a simmer. Add the pear halves, and gently poach the pears until they are just tender. Remove pears to a shallow pan. Reduce the poaching liquid under medium high heat until it is a syrup, and then drizzle over the pears.* You can serve the pears immediately while still warm with a scoop of ice cream and their syrup, or they can also be served at room temperature with a small cookie and a dollop of crème fraîche.

* The pears can also be refrigerated at this point. To serve, the pears can be reheated in their syrup, or served chilled, topped with other fresh fruit and a dollop of sweetened whipped cream, crème fraîche or ice cream.

Challah Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

Drizzled with a warm bourbon sauce, this dessert is sure to wow guests.

Ingredients:
4 cups slightly stale Challah bread with crusts, cut into ½-inch pieces
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup whipping cream
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup pecans, toasted, chopped


For bourbon sauce:
¼ cup unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons whipping cream
2 tablespoons bourbon
Pinch of salt

Method:
1. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Whisk the eggs, milk, whipping cream, sugar, vanilla extract and salt in a medium bowl. Place the bread chunks and pecans in the prepared dish. Pour the milk mixture over and let stand 5 minutes. Push down bread into custard. Refrigerate for 2 hours, pushing bread into custard occasionally.

2. Preheat oven to 375°. Place the bread pudding in a large metal baking pan. Add enough water to baking pan to come 1 inch up the sides of the dish with bread pudding. Bake until pudding is puffed and golden brown on top, approximately 50 minutes.

3. While pudding is cooking, prepare the sauce: Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in remaining ingredients. Simmer until thickened, whisking often, about 3 minutes. Cool slightly.

4. Remove dish with bread pudding from water and cool slightly. Cut into squares. Serve bread pudding warm with sauce.

Fall Fruit Crisp

Delicious with either apples, pears or a combination of both: Simply toss the fruit with cornstarch and sugar, then sprinkle with the topping from this week’s box.

Ingredients:
4 cups peeled and sliced fruit, such as pears or apples, or a combination of both
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1-2 tablespoons of butter
Farm & Larder fall fruit crisp topping

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 375°.

2. Toss the fruit with sugar and cornstarch.

3. Place in oven safe dish and add butter dabs to the top. Sprinkle the fruit crisp topping evenly over the fruit, covering completely.

4. Bake until the topping is lightly browned and the fruit is bubbly, about 35-40 minutes.

Marsala-Baked Pears

Drizzled with Marsala wine, this baked dish from the Chez Panisse Fruit cookbook by Alice Waters enhances the natural, mellow sweetness of the pears to produce a rich, yet light, dessert.

Ingredients:
6 medium pears (Bosc or D’Anjou)
2 ½ cups Marsala wine
½ cup sugar

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 425°.
2. Slice ⅛-inch off the bottom of each pear so it will sit flat. Arrange the pears in a ceramic baking dish just large enough to hold them snugly.
3. Pour the Marsala over the pears and sprinkle with sugar.
4. Bake pears for about 1 hour, basting them every 15 minutes with their cooking juices. They are done when they can be easily pierced with a knife and look caramelized and golden.
5. Serve the pears on individual dessert plates, drizzled with the juices from the baking dish and with a dollop of crème fraîche or mascarpone alongside.

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