6 x 2cm thick slices LOAF gluten free spicy carrot loaf
GLAZED PEARS (optional)
200g (about 2 cups) dried pears
21/2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 kg ripe pears, peeled, cored and finely chopped
125ml(1/2 cup) pear juice or water
2 tablespoons caster sugar
300 (11/2 cups) ricotta
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
150ml pouring cream
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: about 1 hour 20 minutes
Yum...the intense pear tang here come from slow reduction; this is the way chefs create deep, lingering flavours. You won’t need all the puree for this gluten free dessert but while you are at it, you may as well cook 1 kg of pears...in fact you could easily double the amount for little extra work. The puree will keep for up to a week in the fridge and once it’s made, you’ve got a very quick, very smart pudding on your hands. The dried pear part isn’t essential, leave it out if you like. Use any ripe pears here and apples, or quinces (with more sugar), will work just as well too.
1. For the glazed pears, if using, place the dried pears in a small bowl then add 250ml (1 cup) boiling water or enough to barely cover. Stand for 30 minutes or until softened. Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan then bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low then cover and cook for 15 minutes or until pears are tender. Add the sugar, remove the lid then simmer for about 10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and thickened. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
2. Meanwhile, for the pear puree, combine the pears and juice or water in a saucepan, cover and bring to a simmer. Cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until the pears are very tender. Remove from the heat then, using an immersion blender or food processor, process until the mixture is smooth. Return the puree to the pan, stir in the sugar then cook over a very low heat, stirring often, for about 1 hour or until the mixture is very reduced and is slightly jammy. Take care the mixture does not burn; you may need to place it over a simmer pad. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
3. For the ricotta cream, combine the ricotta, brown sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor then process until smooth. Add the pouring cream then, using the pulse button, process until combined, thick and smooth- take care not to over process or the mixture may curdle. Refrigerate until needed - mixture will keep for up to 2 days.
To serve, divide the carrot cake among plates then spoon over some of the puree and ricotta cream. Place glazed pears, if using, on top then serve.