Veiled farm girls (with pear)

By • January 31, 2011 6 Comments

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Author Notes: Tilslørte bondepiker, or veiled farm girls, is a very traditional Norwegian dessert, and I think one of the best. Normally it is made with applesauce or apple compote and cinnamon, but I decided to switch it up and try it with pears and cardamom. The resulting parfaits are just as delicious and simple a the original, but I think these flavors are a little more subtle and elegant. (And, I know that 2 tsp. of cardamom in the bread crumbs seems like a lot, but I found that the flavor of the toasted bread crumbs overpowered cardamom more easily than they do cinnamon, so I added extra until the cardamom scent and flavor floated through.)fiveandspice

Serves 4

  • 2 pounds pears, ripe but still firm
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 pods green cardamom, lightly crushed
  • 1 strip of lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups fine bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Peel and core the pears and cut them into small chunks. Then, combine the white wine, honey, lemon zest, cardamom pods in a saucepan. Add the pear and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pears are quite soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. (If after the 10 minutes most of the liquid hasn't already evaporated, remove the pears with a slotted spoon and boil down the remaining liquid until a syrup forms, then add this back to the pears and cool.)
  2. In a frying pan, melt the butter over medium, add the bread crumbs, 1 Tbs. sugar, and the ground cardamom. Cook, stirring constantly until the breadcrumbs are lightly golden. Remove from the heat and allow these to cool completely as well.
  3. Whip the cream with the remaining Tbs. sugar and the vanilla until stiff peaks form. In a large glass bowl or in four individual serving dishes, layer the pear compote, the breadcrumbs, and the whipped cream in at least two repetitions of the layers being sure to end with whipped cream on the top - this is the veil. Chill 30 minutes before serving.

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