Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart

Cranberry Pear Charlotte

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 56 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Inactive: 1 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 25 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

10 to 11 Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick wedges

2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

2 cups cranberries

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

20 slices best-quality white bread

Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise, recipe follows

Cranberry Compote, recipe follows

Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise:

4 large egg yolks

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup milk

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 vanilla bean, split

Cranberry Compote:

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

1 cinnamon stick

1 1/2 cups cranberries

Directions

  1. Heat a large high-sided skillet or saute pan over high heat. Add half the pears and 1/3 cup sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup cranberries, and continue to cook until pears are soft and just beginning to turn golden, 12 to 20 minutes (cooking time will vary depending on the type of pears and their ripeness). Remove skillet from heat, and transfer pears to a large bowl to cool. Repeat process with the remaining pears, cranberries, and 1/3 cup sugar. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Whisk in cinnamon and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and set aside. Cut the crusts from the bread. Cut each slice into 3 (1 by 2 1/4-inch) pieces. Discard the scraps, or save them for making bread crumbs. Generously brush 1 side of the cut bread pieces with the butter mixture. Leaving the bottom open, line the sides of jumbo muffin-tin cups with overlapping pieces of bread, with the buttered side facing out, against the tin, pressing as you go. Pack about 2/3 cup pear mixture into each muffin tin, making sure the pears are flush with the top of the tin and the bread slices. Place the tin in the oven, and bake until the bread is golden brown on the outside, about 20 minutes. Transfer the muffin tin to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Unmold the charlottes by inverting onto a baking sheet or cutting board. Serve immediately with Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise and Cranberry Compote.

Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until light in color, about 2 minutes. Place milk, heavy cream, and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to low. Whisk about a third of the cream mixture into the yolk mixture. Return the combined mixtures to the saucepan. Fill a large bowl or sink with ice and water. Cook creme anglaise over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture thickens to the consistency of heavy cream. Discard the vanilla bean, and strain the creme anglaise into a medium metal bowl. Place the bowl in the ice bath to chill until ready to serve. Store in an airtight container, refrigerated, until ready to serve, up to 4 days.

Cranberry Compote:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup water, sugar, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil to dissolve sugar, lower heat to medium, and add cranberries. Cook until water reduces to a syrupy consistency and berries just begin to pop. Let stand until cooled, about 10 minutes. Serve warm as a garnish.
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