Outside the Chocolate Box: Valentine’s Day Dessert Ideas

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Food stylist: Anne Disrude Prop Stylist: Pamela Duncan Silver

Photo by: Con Poulos

Con Poulos

Call me crazy, but chocolate isn't my first choice for dessert. If you follow my blog, then you know there are some exceptions to this rule, at least when Chewy, Bittersweet Brownies are involved. Brownies aside, my sweet tooth tendencies are likely satisfied with something like this Raspberry-Ricotta Mousse or Lemon Icebox Bars. Why should Valentine's Day be any different? This year I say think outside the box of chocolates and whip up one of these homemade treats for your sweetheart.

Pear and Ricotta Crepes
Makes 8 to 10 crepes
For the filling:
2 pears, peeled
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Juice and freshly grated zest from 1/2 an orange
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese, at room temperature
For the crepes:
1 large egg
1 to 1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons melted butter, divided

To prepare the filling, cut the pears in half and remove the core and seeds. Cut into 1/4-inch thick cubes.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and swirl pan until it melts. Add the pears, brown sugar and salt. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the pears soften and the sugar caramelizes. Add the orange zest and juice. Cook until bubbly, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside.

To make the crepes, add the egg, 1 cup milk, flour, salt and 1 tablespoon melted butter to the bowl of a blender. Blend until smooth, with no visible lumps, adding more milk a tablespoon at a time if the batter is too thick. Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet or crepe pan over medium heat. Swirl a tiny a bit of the remaining melted butter to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Pour enough batter into the skillet to thinly coat the bottom, a very scant 1/4 cup. Once the edges are crisp and air bubbles appear on top, flip and cook for 30 more seconds on the other side. Transfer to a plate and continue making crepes with the rest of the batter, buttering the pan as needed (you may only need to do it once more).

To assemble, spread 1 tablespoon ricotta over a crepe. Top with a heaping tablespoon sauteed pears. Fold crepe in half and then in half again to make an offset triangle. Drizzle some of the liquid from the pear mixture over the top. Repeat with remaining crepes and filling. Serve immediately.

More Valentine’s Day Dessert Ideas:

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