Fried Pear Dumplings with Stewed Pears
Golden fried sweet dumplings contain bites of pear and almond. Sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar, they are accompanied by fruit and a spiced red wine sauce. Select fruit based on what is available; in winter, even frozen fruit will work for this dish.
- Pear Dumplings
- Pears - 2 small, very ripe
- Milk - 1 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons)
- Williams Brandy (pear schnapps) - 2 tablespoons
- Pinch of salt
- Flour - 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons
- Eggs - 4
- Almonds - 2 tablespoons, toasted and grated
- Red Wine - 3 cups
- Sugar - 4 tablespoons
- Cinnamon Stick - 1
- Cornstarch - 2 tablespoons
- Water - 4 tablespoons
- Mixed Berries - 1-1/2 cups, hulled (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries)
- Canola oil for frying
- Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
- Mint leaves - 4
To make the dumpling batter: Pare and core the pears. Cut into matchstick julienne, then cut the julienne in half lengthwise to make small sticks. Bring the milk to a boil in a heavy saucepan and stir in the butter, brandy, and a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the flour and beat with a wooden spoon until the dough gathers and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Put the dough in a bowl and cool ten minutes. Stir in the eggs and stir until smooth. Add the pears and almonds.
To prepare the sauce: Combine the wine, sugar, and cinnamon stick in a heavy pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until reduced by two-thirds. Take out the cinnamon stick and discard. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl or measuring cup. Remove the wine mixture from the heat and stir in the cornstarch mixture. Return to medium heat and cook until thickened and syrupy. Remove and stir in the fruit. Set aside.
To cook the dumplings: Heat the canola oil in a deep-fat fryer or deep saucepan until it ripples, about 360 F. Guarding against splashing, drop the batter by 2-inch round spoonfuls or scoops into the oil; portion so that you can make at least 12 dumplings. Fry until they float and are golden on all sides, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon or wire skimmer and drain on paper towels. Fry in loose batches; do not let the dumplings touch each other while frying. Let the oil return to temperature between each batch.
To serve: Divide the dumplings among the dessert plates. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. Place a large spoonful of stewed berries and sauce beside the dumplings on each plate. Garnish each with a mint leaf.