A dessert for diabetics…and the rest of us.

Diabetic diets work better than popular diets because the dieter accepts and embraces the need to modify his/her behavior. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, especially when it comes to desserts.  Most of the “grab-and-go” packaged desserts are out, and what would you serve at a special dinner? Try this one.  (Before I forget: since adopting a diabetic diet, I’ve lost 3.3 pounds).

Spiced Caramel Pears
Serves 6

6 pears, firm but ripe (Bartlett or Bosc)
1/3C sugar
1 large lemon, thinly sliced
1 cinnamon stick, broken into 3-4 pieces
4 whole cloves
1 whole star anise
1/4C port wine or orange juice
8 sprigs fresh mint

Cut the pears in half lengthwise. Scoop out the cores – a melon baller works well for this. Peeling isn’t necessary.

Sprinkle the sugar over the bottom of a large skillet large enough to hold the pears all in one layer. Place on high heat and when sugar starts to melt and brown add the pears, cut side down, in a single layer. Arrange the lemon slices over the top and around the pears then scatter the spices over all.

You want to cook this until the sugar browns well but be careful not to let it burn. Add the port wine/orange juice, reduce the heat. Cook gently for about 10 minutes. Cover the pan and remove from heat. Let the pears rest, covered, for about 30 minutes.

To serve,  place two pear halves with cut side up on each plate. Drizzle the pears and plates with the syrup, Arrange a lemon slice on each pear and garnish with mint.

I like to serve this a strong coffee or simple iced tea.

Recipe: courtesy The Joslin Diabetes Great Chefs Cook Healthy Cookbook

Kent McDonald is a Certified Personal Chef, living and working in Phoenix, AZ. (c) All Rights Reserved, 2012

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