Cocoa Pear Crisps

By • February 12, 2010 • 56 Comments



Author Notes: I developed these pear chips for an iron chef competition a couple years back. The secret ingredient was cocoa, my fridge was near-empty save for a couple of pears, and I had an hour. I used galangal, which is a bit spicy like ginger, but also delightfully fruity. The result was unexpectedly delicious, the perfect thing to have out on a table during an open house. - RivkaRivka

Food52 Review: These pear crisps aren't the most obvious "Open House Dish," until you taste them, and then all becomes clear: you don't want to be eating big baked dishes at an open house. You want somewhat light, intensely flavored food that can be eaten out of hand. The flavor of these delicious pears, which are seasoned with cocoa and spices, concentrates as they bake, and you end up with a chip that's warped and brown, like a fossilized pear. Don't bake them too long -- you want crisp edges and slightly chewy centers. Then pile them into a bowl, and make sure you tell your guests they're edible! They'll love you forever. - A&MA&M

Makes about 60 crisps

  • 3 very firm pears
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons powdered galangal, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (if not using galangal, increase this to 1 teaspoon)
  • 3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  1. Preheat oven to 275°F. Halve each pear and use a melon baller to scoop out the core (including the stem).
  2. Set a mandoline to the 1/8-inch setting, and slice each pear half into about 10 very thin slices. Occasionally, the 1/8-inch setting will cause the pears to mush or crumble. In this case, the 1/4-inch setting will work, though the crisps will need an extra 15 minutes or so in the oven.
  3. Mix sugar and spices in small bowl. Place pear slices on rack set over baking sheet. Alternatively, place slices on silpat-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops with spiced sugar. Bake until almost dry, about 1 hour, turning the slices over and the sheets around half way through to ensure even baking. Cool on rack or sheet. Store airtight up to 2 days.
Jump to Comments (56)

Comments (56) Questions (3)

Default-small
Default-small
Default-small

over 2 years ago cinleeken

these would be great for kids lunch boxes too

299368_712880140350_2900019_35478160_1615070951_n

over 2 years ago sugarmountaintreats

these were fantastic! I cut them by hand with no problems at all (I need to replace my mandoline...) and used regular ground ginger. They didn't make it through the two days!

An_american_in_a_parisian_bakery_2

over 2 years ago Le Petit Oiseau

Yummy! Purist that I am and unable to find the powdered galangal, I bought fresh and actually sliced, dried, and ground it to achieve powdered success. Delicious chips! I'm so glad I doubled the spices for all my effort and was able to make a second batch right away. And I've already had to forward a copy of the link here to one of my guests so she could make them herself…. Thank you!

Phoenix

over 2 years ago Phoenix Helix

Why do you say that they keep for only 2 days? Isn't this a dried fruit, which normally keeps well for months in an airtight container?

Flower-bee

about 3 years ago Droplet

I really like your idea, Rivka. Just thought I would post my 1 cent: These could be made on oven safe cooling racks ( I think CIA has them) lined with parchment paper. That might contribute to the crisping and ensure curled up edges. Also ,if using cookie sheets, it would be better to use two smaller ones so that the air continues to circulate on the sides as opposed to one that is large enough to serve as a rack itself.

Profilepic

about 3 years ago Rivka

Hi there, and thanks for weighing in. These are great tips!

Default-small

over 3 years ago Bluejade

These made my house smell like Christmas! I had three, firm (not ripe) large-medium pears that I spread out over 4 baking sheets. I sliced them 1/8 - 1/4" with a mandolin and they took about 1+ hour to cook. The chocolate made mine look darker than the photo. I think next time I will put the spice mixture into a small sieve and shake it over the pears. I tried using a spoon and fingers but both caused the spices to be kind of clumpy. Still, they're tasty. I agree about using less ginger for those who don't like it. I liked it. This would be great for large apples, too. Thanks so much for a food gift idea that isn't high in calories, but still very holiday-esque.

Brookiphone1

over 3 years ago Brook (LearnToPreserve)

Beautifully done!
Great blog post.
Gorgeous photos.
I am on a pear kick right now and your recipe sounds fantastic. I would have never thought to put these ingredients together but I love learning new ideas. I am always looking for more uses for my dehydrator too.
Here's my latest pear idea: Bartlett Pear~Vanilla Bean Preserves:

http://www.learntopreserve...

Default-small

over 3 years ago naochan

I wonder if I substitute the pear with potato, thinly slice it, then fry it just like potato chips. Take them out of the fryer, remove the excess oil, then sprinkle the spices. How will it taste? Will this spice combination be suitable with potato chips?

Profilepic

over 3 years ago Rivka

I don't think it'll work with potatoes, but maybe with sweet potatoes...

N815475290_4808168_5317

over 3 years ago java&foam

made these the other night...half using a mandolin and half cutting them by hand. even with adjusting the cooking time like suggested for the hand cut ones, I wouldn't recommend making these without a mandolin: the 1/8th inch thickness recommended is perfect in terms of crunch. the combination of spices is to die for (even though i chose to use slightly less ground ginger) and thank you A&M for the idea to make cocoa with the left over spices. thanks for a great recipe Rivka!

note for A&M: when you suggest ideas like that during your videos (like you did with using the leftover spices for cocoa in this one), are those spur-of-the-moment ideas or are they thought out ahead of time? regardless, they are almost always great suggestions!

Default-small

over 3 years ago simplyrenee

these tasted wonderful, Rivka.....thank you. i do not have a mandoline so it was difficult for me to get the slices very thin. instead of ten slices, i was able to cut six, therefore causing the pieces to remain fairly moist even after 1.5 hours of drying. great taste though!

Img_1958

over 3 years ago gingerroot

Wow, these are really great. I love the slightly bitter cocoa, warm, gingery contrast to the sweet pears. I only have one rack so started with just one pear. I proceeded to eat them all, once they were cool. I can only imagine encountering them at a party - I would be stationed near them! I do not have a mandoline but found that my cutco cheese knife did a pretty decent job slicing the pears thinly Thanks for a fabulous recipe!

Profilepic

over 3 years ago Rivka

thanks, gingerroot! Glad you liked 'em.

Holly_at_farmers_market

over 3 years ago DCfoodgrl

You've got my vote, Rivka!

Great to meet you last weekend. Good luck!

Profilepic

over 3 years ago Rivka

Thanks Holly! Great to meet you too!

Open-uri20140617-19096-1kcmz03

over 3 years ago chava

I second the thought that you need to warn people about lining the pan. I'd grease the racks, too. I just finished a batch, some of which are crisp, some of which are not, but all the pans are - well, really, really messy. I am soaking them (that's another word for procrastinating). They are delicious, but the clean-up might make me hesitate to do them again.

Profilepic

over 3 years ago Rivka

It's strange. I also made another batch this morning, lining the pans with parchment. My spices stayed totally dry throughout. I took the pears off the racks, removed the racks, and literally dusted the spices off the parchment into a bowl (and, btw, ultimately added them to warmed milk for the best spiced cocoa ever -- great idea, A&M!)

I wonder if the mess created by the spices has something to do with the humidity in the oven during baking. I bet if the pears have a lot of liquid, the oven gets more humid, and the spices clump, whereas drier pears result in a drier oven and thus less messy spices. Thoughts?

Kelly_sm_1_

over 3 years ago kellymcmichael

I wonder how long they stay good? I'd like to bring them along on a trip to family but will they stay good for several days?

Profilepic

over 3 years ago Rivka

If you make them in advance, you can recrisp them in a low oven (275-ish) before serving. My guess would be about 30 minutes, but leave yourself more time in case. Enjoy!

Kay_at_lake

over 3 years ago Kayb

OK, this recipe gave me problems and I'm not certain why. I cored and sliced my pears, and put them on parchment papere on a baking sheet, which I figured ought to double for a silpat. Sprinkled them with the sugar-cocoa mixture. I did two baking sheets, which necessitated me using two oven racks, since I have a small oven, but I swapped positions halfway through. My pears charred before they got crisp. They never curled on the edges. I suspect it might be that my oven is badly calibrated and my temp was too high, but I also wonder if I used the wrong kind of pear. Mine were Bosc, and were very juicy and sweet. Should I have used a firmer pear? These sliced just fine. I really want to make this work, because I love the idea. All suggestions appreciated!

Image

over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Kayb, I made 2 racks also and the bottom rack burned. I think they need a lot of air circulation to properly dry. Also, I stored them in an airtight container overnight and they softened, but I was able to re-crisp them in a 275 degree oven for about 20 minutes the day i served them--and they have held their crispness. I used bosc pears also, but mine were on the firm side. I think this would have worked if you had done it in 2 batches, and you may have to go lower and slower to get them to dry. But they're really good! So I hope you try again.

Profilepic

over 3 years ago Rivka

I'm so sorry they burned! Drbabs and I were chatting offline, and she surmised (and I agree) that if you started with a lower oven and lengthened the cooking time, the crisps would stay...well, crisp. Might want to give that a try; I've got some firm boscs at home, and I'm going to try the lower-slower method tomorrow night. I'll report back.

Yogi

over 3 years ago sarahdecker

I must confess that I was disappointed with this recipe. Too labor-intensive for the quantity of results... and I didn't love the crisps. I loved the idea of them and tried the recipe right away but it didn't work for me... but congrats on being a finalist!

Profilepic

over 3 years ago Rivka

Sarah, sorry you didn't like them, but thanks for giving them a shot. Happy holidays!

Ry_400

over 3 years ago melissav

I must confess that I just made a batch, took them out of the oven, sprinkled them with salt and proceeded to eat the whole by myself right off the rack. Somewhat embarrassed. . .

Image

over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I can totally relate.

Profilepic

over 3 years ago Rivka

Um, let's just say the first time I made these, I ended up needing to double the recipe after eating the whole first batch myself.

Img_0022_profile

over 3 years ago ashleypiersonchasesdinner

Congrats on being a finalist! I can't wait to try these. Good luck!

Image

over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi Rivka. I made these tonight and they were fun and easy and really delicious. I came up against a couple of things that I thought I'd share for others who want to try the recipe. I didn't have galangal, so I used a whole teaspoon of ginger--they were really gingery. I like that; if others don't, they should hold back on the ginger. My pears were large so 3 pears made about 75 slices. I did 3 cookie sheets on 2 racks, and unfortunately almost all the slices on the lower rack burned in 1/2 hour so I don't recommend doing that. And don't ask me why, but on two of the 3 cookie sheets, the spices that fell off the pear slices burned onto the cookie sheets and it took me forever to clean the cookie sheets (I counted it as a workout)--so I recommend that people who make these make their lives easy and line the cookie sheets with foil or parchment. Thanks for a great recipe!

Profilepic

over 3 years ago Rivka

Drbabs, thanks so much for sharing your tips from having made them! I didn't have the sticking problem but great advice to line the pans in case others do. And as for ginger, I, too, like spicy things -- hopefully folks who might be sensitive to the flavor will temper it accordingly. Happy holidays!

186003_1004761561_1198459_n

over 3 years ago dymnyno

I lowered the heat of my oven when I saw that they were drying out much too quickly. I also sprinkled the powder on the pears on racks over a large bowl and then put them on the sheet and into the oven so there was nothing to burn.

Christine-28_small(1)

over 3 years ago cheese1227

OMG, rivka. So inventive, interesting and accessible!! Thank you!