This Apricot-Almond Stuffed Pears recipe was created by our favorite Food Fairy for Valentine’s Day. It is TOO good, (and good for you) to limit to special occasions!
1 cup raw almonds, soaked 8-12 hours in pure water to cover
½ cup dried apricots
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup, divided
3 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
2 teaspoons chia seeds
4 large Bartlett, Anjou or Bosc Pears
1 cup Elderberry Extract
1 cup reserved apricot water
Twelve hours before preparing the pears, place almonds in a glass container and pour water over them to cover. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Pour 1 ¼ cup hot water over dried apricots and allow to rehydrate for 20 minutes or more. Using 1 TBLSP of coconut oil, grease a 9 x 12 glass baking pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 °.
Remove almonds from the refrigerator, drain and rinse. Drain apricots in a colander or sieve over a bowl to reserve the soaking liquid. In a food processor, pulse together the drained nuts, drained apricots, 1 TBLSP maple syrup, 2 TBLSP coconut oil and chia seeds until very coarsely but evenly chopped. You may add 1-2 tablespoons of apricot water if necessary to make a firm but moist filling.
Cut each pear in half from stem to blossom end and using a knife and melon baller or spoon, core each pear, creating a cavity that is round at the seed end and long and thin from the seed to the stem end. Arrange fruit cut side up in the prepared baking dish. Mound approximately 2 TBLSP of nut mixture in each cavity, pressing firmly. Pour elderberry juice and reserved apricot water into dish around the fruit and drizzle over all with maple syrup.
Bake pears in the middle or lower third of your oven about 60 minutes. As the filling tends to brown easily, loosely cover with foil and bake another 30 minutes, or until pears are done. Remove pears from baking pan and carefully pour the juices into a small saucepan and reduce until the sauce coats a spoon- about 6-8 minutes. It should have the consistency of maple syrup when it has reduced enough.
Serve the pears warm with a drizzle of Elderberry-Maple Glaze.