As late summer approached, trees across Queen Anne blossomed with the sweet fruits of nature. Pears, plums, apples and figs – nature became a Farmer’s Market for all good foods to help us transition into the fall season.
Fruit plays a role in our history and serves as earthly pleasures for gluttony and temptation. Nature’s authentic dessert (fruit) is common amidst modern day desserts and historical texts.
In Greek and Roman mythology, pears are sacred to three goddesses: Aphrodite (Venus to the Romans), Hera (Juno to the Romans) and Pomona the Italian goddess of gardens and harvests. Ancient Chinese say pears symbolize immortality since pear trees live a long life. In Chinese, the word li means both “pear” and “separation.” Tradtion claims to avoid separation amongst friends and lovers one must never divide pears between themselves.
I craved something sweet tinted with a hint of spice. Bosc pears are ideal for baking and the gluten free crust allows GF-eaters to enjoy some of the best-baked goods from Italy.
You can certainly use regular flour but my inspiration was to take the spiritual meaning of pears that originated in Italy and create an Italian-inspired treat.
If you love spice and pears, you will not be disappointed with this recipe.
Gluten Free & Vegan Cardamom-Spiced Pear Crostata
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 27-30 minutes
Total Time: 37-40 minutes
1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour (or pastry flour for non-GF option)
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp cane sugar
6 tbsp vegan butter (scant tbsp.)
2 tbsp cold water
1 bosc pear cut in quarters and sliced
½ tbsp. butter (scant tbsp.)
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cardamom
Pinch of clove
Begin by making the dough. Mix the dry ingredients and the sugar together. Use a fork or knife to cut the butter into the dough until it looks crumbly. Gradually, add the water and mix until the dough forms. Use your hands to roll the dough into a ball. Set aside in the refrigerator for a moment.
Preheat the oven to 375-degrees.
Remove the top and the bottom of the pear. Cut the pear in quarters from the top (remove the core if needed). And cut into thin slices. You will not need the entire pear.
Next, combine the sugar spice mixture into a small bowl.
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll the dough out on a floured surface. It should automatically begin to roll out in a circular form. Place on a pan lined with parchment paper.
Sprinkle some of the sugar mix on the dough and place the pears on the crostata in a circular manner, leaving 1-2 inches of space near at the edge. Begin to fold the dough inward, layering the dough as needed to where it makes a crease / fold. Gluten free dough is delicate so pinch any cracks closed.
Spread some butter on top of the pears and sprinkle more of the sugar spice on top. I used about 1/3 of the sugar spice on top of the dough.
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Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com