Mini salted caramel trifles layered with pears, plums, cinnamon bread, and chopped hazelnuts are the perfect end note for fall suppers.
Pear and Plum Salted Caramel Trifles
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Pears and Syrup:
- 1 (750 ml) bottle sparkling white wine
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 orange, zested in 1-inch strips
- 6 Bosc pears, peeled
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon reserved pear syrup
- ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 12 slices thick-cut cinnamon bread
- 2 plums, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
- Garnish: toasted chopped hazelnuts, flaked sea salt
- For pears and syrup: In a large Dutch oven, combine wine, 2 cups water, granulated sugar, honey, ginger, cinnamon sticks, and orange zest; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Core pears from the base using a melon baller or measuring spoon. Add pears to pan; simmer, stirring occasionally, until pears are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove pears to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and let cool. Cut crosswise into ½-inch slices and set aside.
- Increase heat to medium-high; continue to cook syrup until thickened and reduced by half, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks and zest. Pour into a heatproof bowl and let cool 10 minutes. Reserve 1 tablespoon syrup for whipped cream.
- For caramel: In a small heatproof bowl, combine ½ cup cream and salt. Microwave in 10-second intervals, stirring between each, until warmed and salt is dissolved, about 40 seconds. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, cook granulated sugar and ¼ cup water over medium-high heat, without stirring, until a deep honey color, 15 to 20 minutes. Dip a pastry brush in water and brush occasionally along the inside edge of the pan near cooking caramel to prevent crystallization. Remove from heat. Slowly stir in cream mixture, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Pour mixture into a heatproof bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.
- For whipped cream: In a medium bowl, beat 1 cup cream with a mixer at medium speed until ribbons begin to form. Slowly add reserved pear syrup and confectioners’ sugar; beat at high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- Cut 12 circles from bread to fit inside glass serving dishes. For each serving, place one bread slice into bottom of dish. Pour 2 teaspoons pear syrup onto bread slice. Layer 2 pear slices and 2 plum slices on top of bread. Top with 1 tablespoon caramel and 2 tablespoons whipped cream. Repeat layers*. Garnish with hazelnuts and sea salt, if desired. Serve immediately.
*If making four servings, use three layers; if making six servings, use two layers in a shallower dish.
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