Now that it’s mid autumn, one of my favorite fruits is finally in season! Bosc pears with their beautiful russet-brown skin are called the “aristocrat of pears”. Their pleasant, spicy-sweet flavor make them a lovely addition to fall desserts. Since my family has been trying to follow a more paleo diet (eliminating most grains, processed foods, and refined sugar), I’ve had to rethink our dessert options. These caramelized Bosc pears with coconut whipped cream are the perfect solution. They let you satisfy your sweet tooth without needing to add a drop of sugar.
Best of all, this no-guilt recipe is effortless to make (be careful or you might end up making it all the time 😉 ). No long list of ingredients here. Just juicy Bosc pears, butter, and carefully selected fall spices. Top with coconut whipped cream and take a bite. It’s hard to believe that such a tasty dessert could be so healthy.
First, you will need to prepare the coconut whipped cream.
Coconut whipped cream is gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, and paleo! All you need is a can of coconut milk, your favorite sweetener, and vanilla. I add just one packet of stevia. Stevia is a healthy, natural alternative to sugar. Read more about it here.
For the can of coconut milk (make sure to use a can, not a carton), I use Native Forest that is certified gluten-free and canned with non-BPA packaging.
A can of coconut milk contains coconut fat and coconut water. If you were to shake and open the can right away, the fat and water would mix together forming a creamy liquid. However, if you leave the unopened can overnight in the refrigerator, the fat and water separate, forming a thick layer of coconut fat at the top of the can. At the bottom of the can will be a bit of coconut water that you can discard or refrigerate to add to your smoothies. Spoon out the top layer into a cold, mixing bowl. It will look like the picture below.
Use a hand mixer to whip up this coconut fat into cream. I find it works best if the beaters of the hand mixer have been chilled so I usually leave them in the freezer overnight along with the mixing bowl.
All you need to do is beat the coconut fat until it reaches a softer consistency, about 2 minutes. Then add your sweetener of choice and vanilla and beat it in until combined. You can eat it right away and also refrigerate any left over whipped cream for up to three to four days. It’s quick and effortless to make, and paired with caramelized pears, it’s positively addicting.
Now for the pears. Be sure your pears are fragrant, firm, and ripe or they won’t cook nicely. Let them sit on your counter for a few days if necessary to soften. Peel them leaving the stem intact (you can also remove the stem, but I think they look more elegant with the stem). Cut each pear in half and remove the core with a small spoon or knife. Do this just before you’re ready to cook them so that they don’t discolor.
Heat butter in your skillet over a medium-high heat. Add pears cut side down and cook for 7 minutes, adjusting the heat while being sure that your butter doesn’t burn. The naturally occuring sugar in the pears will caramelize turning brown and flavory.
Turn pears over and cook 4 minutes. Add spices and water, mix in swirling around the pears in the skillet. Cook and stir until pears are softened and caramelized 4-6 more minutes. The pungent cinnamon, sweet cloves, nutmeg, and citrusy cardamom will fill your whole house with the fragrance of autumn deliciousness.
This was when my kids came running into the kitchen to see if I was baking a pie. It certainly smelled like I had an apple pie or cinnamon rolls baking in the oven. “No,” I said, “I’m making something even better!”
Serve them warm, topped with your fresh coconut whipped cream and drizzled with the remaining sauce from the pan.
It’s almost too pretty to eat.
Make these the next time you have guests for dinner or, if you can’t wait, make them tonight. Everyone is sure to love them. Nicole is usually not a fan of pears, but she couldn’t resist trying one and then couldn’t stop raving about how delicious they were.
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- For coconut whipped cream:
- 1 can coconut milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Stevia or honey
- For caramelized pears:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 ripe bosc pears peeled cored sliced in half
- 1 tablespoon water
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cardamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- dash of ground cloves
- Refrigerate the can of coconut milk overnight. Chill a mixing bowl and the beaters of your hand mixer in the freezer, as well.
- For coconut whipped cream: When you are ready to make the whipped cream, be careful not to shake the can. Spoon the solid coconut fat at the top of the can into the cold bowl, leaving the coconut water behind.
- With your hand mixer, beat the coconut fat into a firm whipped cream, about 2 minutes.
- When the consistency is right, add stevia or honey and vanilla. Beat again until combined.
- Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
- For caramelized pears: Heat butter in a skillet on medium-high. Add pears cut side down and cook until browned about 5-7 minutes. Turn pears to other side and cook 4 minutes. Add spices and water, mix in swirling around the pears in the skillet. Cook and stir until pears are softened and caramelized 4-6 more minutes. Serve warm topped with coconut cream and drizzled with the remaining sauce from the pan.
Chill a mixing bowl and the beaters of your hand mixer in the freezer overnight, as well.
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