- FOR THE PEARS:
- 2 medium ripe, firm pears, stems removed
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- FOR THE NAPOLEONS:
- 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup Muscat de Beaune de Venise, or other sweet, white dessert white, such as White Port or Sauterne
- 2 pints fresh raspberries
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup melted bittersweet chocolate
Preheat the oven to 200° F.
Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a small saucepan combine the sugar and water, and dissolve, stirring, over medium-low heat. Add the lemon juice and cardamom, and stir. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
With a mandoline or other slicing machine, thinly slice the pears lengthwise to 1/8-inch thickness. Dip the pear slices in the syrup and shake to remove any excess. Arrange the slices tightly in a single layer on the baking sheets. Bake in the oven until crisp, about 2 to 3 hours, switching the baking sheets several times during the cooking process.
FOR THE NAPOLEONS:
In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of the sugar and the wine, and dissolve, stirring, over medium-low heat, and slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.
In a bowl whip the heavy cream until it is nearly doubled in volume. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and whip until it forms stiff peaks.
Combine the raspberries and syrup in a bowl and toss gently to combine.
Spread 1 tablespoon of chocolate on the bottom of a dessert plate, and top with a pear slice. Layer with a tablespoon of cream, fresh raspberries, a teaspoon of chocolate, and a pear slice, and repeat to make 6 layers in all, finishing with raspberries and chocolate on top. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, to make 4 napoleons in all.
Yield: 4 servings