The man of the house is a Kiwi and often hankers after foods from his childhood there. One such treat is apple shortbread slices. We don’t currently have any apples but I did have some pears that I forgot to take out of the fridge and put in the fruit bowl so when my low carb shortbread was a hit with him, I suggested making a low carb version of his old favourite and trying out pear shortbread slices.
After seeking suggestions from my lovely YO cooking buddies on Facebook, and having wondered if ginger was the answer for myself, that seemed to be the cinnamon for apples alternative for pears! I had conference pears in the fridge so that’s what I went with. I’m pretty sure this would work just as well with any other pears (except of course avocados!), and even tinned pears.
I have used my own homemade ginger conserve here which I make using erythritol – it’s one of the few recipes using this sugar replacement where there is absolutely no icy mouth feel. I think that’s because the ginger is such a warming mouth feel. If you don’t have a low sugar version, there’s not much of it so I guess shop bought ginger conserve would be fine if the reason for low carb is purely a weight loss kind of thing. Our low carb issue is medical so we have to be very careful. If I hadn’t had my own conserve, I think I’d probably have infused some ginger root in boiling water for ten minutes or so and then added a few tablespoons of that to the pears and increased the ground ginger to a teaspoon. I’d probably have sprinkled in some more stevia too.
Stevia is so light, I didn’t feel I was getting a good picture weighing it so I have gone down the cup route for this recipe.
4 ripe conference pears
1 heaped tablespoon ginger conserve
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons lemon juice
250g unsalted butter
2 cups ground almonds
2 cups besan or gram flour
1 cup stevia
- Preheat the oven to 160C and line a square baking pan with greaseproof paper
- Peel the pears and chop into 50mm slices, quartering the larger slices
- Cook the pears in with the ginger conserve, lemon juice and ground ginger over a low heat for about ten minutes when the pears should be very soft but not mushy – it may take longer depending on the ripeness of the pears. Resist the urge to add any more liquid at the beginning – as they cook there will be plenty
- Using a slotted spoon remove the pears from the heat and put to one side (don’t throw away the juice – reduce it and pour over ice cream yum!)
- With a hand whisk, cream the butter in a large bowl with the stevia until light and fluffy then gradually whisk in the almonds followed by the besan flour until you have a creamy but firm dough
- Spoon half the mixture into the prepared tin and squash into a pastry into the corners of the tin
- Bake for 20 minutes
- Whilst the bottom is baking, squash the other half of the mixture into a square about the size of the baking tin on a sheet of clingfilm
- After 20 minutes remove the tin from the oven and spread the cooked pears evenly across the base then put the square of the dough mixture on top of that, pressing down lightly
- Put back in the oven for 60 minutes then remove
- With a sharp knife cut into squares then leave in the tin to cool before serving
- I had it with a big dollop of Greek yoghurt but he must be obeyed says that over powers it – what does he know?