CONTEST SIDE DISH: Gratin of Pears in Mustard Cream Sauce

Reply Fri 22 Aug, 2003 06:46 pm
By BumbleBeeBoogie

4 slightly ripe Bosc pears, unpeeled
1 tablespoon butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon ground mace
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat the oven at 325 degrees F.

Quarter the pears lengthwise, core and cut the quarters crosswise into 1/4 to 1/3-inch thick slices.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pears, season with a little salt and pepper, and toss to coat with the butter. Cook for 5 minutes to soften slightly and coat the pears.

In a bowl, whisk together the mustard and cream. Add the thyme and mace and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Arrange half of the pears in a 1-1/2 quart buttered baking dish. Pour over half of the cream mixture. Repeat, using the remaining pears and cream. Scatter the bread crumbs and chopped nuts evenly over the top; dot with bits of butter.

Bake for 1 hour or until the cream is bubbly and reduced and the crumbs are golden. Remove from the oven and let rest 5 to 10 minutes, and serve.

Serves 6 to 8.
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