Holiday, Fall, Dessert, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

Poached Pears en Croute

Boogers. I don’t know what to call this dessert.

It isn’t a cake.
It isn’t a pie.
It’s kind of a tart but really a mess.

It’s my Thanksgiving FrankenDessert.

And it’s exactly what I needed after this week. Blahblahblah annoyed with my agents, blahblahblah boy problems. It’s nothing new, it’s nothing unique. It isn’t lost on me that this is the nationally declared season for declaring thanks and I’m in a whiny mood. So for what it’s worth, I’m thankful that I have an agent and grateful for those troubling boys. I know the alternative-no representation would make this industry even more difficult (as if it needed any help) and no boys would just be boring. 

So, I’m whiny thankful today. It’s allowed. I’ll be joyous thankful in a few days, this stuff goes in cycles. I’m just keeping thanks in my outlook, whether I’m looking through rose colored lenses or heavily tinted specs. 

Now for this dessert.

It really is fantastically comforting. Cinnamon poached pears and frangipane (almond filling) nestled in a bready crust. I don’t even bother serving it in nice slices. Just a giant spoonful in each bowl, it’s gooey and crusty and tender and spiced. It’s Thanksgiving, it’s thanks. 

Warning: I’m barely going to give you instructions for making poached pears, just some direction. Poaching fruit is abysmally easy, trust yourself, follow my scant guidance and just do it. It can’t go wrong and once you figure it out you’ll be poaching fruit all year long for dessert. 

As for the crust and filling, I’ll give you the full recipes here. But please, don’t let the multiple steps involved in this recipe stop you from making it. Make the different pieces in stages. Start the pears early in the morning, you’ll be happy to have the scent floating through your house all day. The bread dough comes together in 10 minutes and while it’s rising you can whip up the frangipane. It doesn’t take much forming, just roll out a circle of dough, throw it in a skillet or cake pan, pour in the frangipane and plop down the pears. I suppose you could form it into something pretty and perfect, but this isn’t really about being perfect. It’s a big dish of melty pears and dough, who needs pretty? This is my messy thanks. Happy Thanksgiving!

Free of Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Corn, Nuts Optional.

Cinnamon Poached Pears

  • Pears (any variety, any amount)
  • Palm Sugar (or Brown Sugar)
  • Coconut oil (or Butter)
  • Walnuts (or not)
  • Cinnamon (a bunch)
  • Salt (a pinch)
  • Water (or cider, wine, etc…)


  1. Halve the pears, scoop out their seeds and stems. Maybe peel them, maybe don’t.
  2. Place the pears cut side down in a large skillet. Sprinkle your sugar over the fruit, if the fruit is super ripe maybe you don’t need too much? Scatter a few pats of coconut oil or butter over the pears. Shake some cinnamon into the skillet, toss in the walnuts, add the salt.
  3. Pour water (or any liquid) into the skillet until it’s about half way up the pears. Bring everything to a boil and then drop the heat to its absolute lowest setting and let everything simmer until the pears are tender as pillows. The liquid will cook down into a thick caramel sauce. Love this.
  4. Eat, serve, enjoy.


  • 1 tablespoon Yeast
  • 1 cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 1/2 cup White Rice Flour
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Rice Flour
  • 1/4 cup Tapioca Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Xanthan GUm
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1/3 cup+1 tablespoon Water
  • 1/3 cup Sugar (palm or otherwise)
  • 1/4 cup Oil (Coconut, Rice Bran, etc…)
  • 1 Whole Egg
  • 1 Egg Yolk

Frangipane (Filling)
Lightly adapted from

  • 1 cup Blanched Almonds
  • 2/3 cup Sugar
  • ¼ cup Coconut Oil
  • 2 teaspoons White Rice Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Tapioca Starch (or Corn Starch)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Egg White
  • 2 teaspoons Almond Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the yeast, brown rice flour, white rice flour, sweet rice flour, tapioca flour and xanthan gum. Whisk everything to combine.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat stir the coconut milk, water, sugar and oil together until they are mixed and hot to the touch (110-120 degrees).
  3. With your mixer on low pour the warm liquid mixture into the flour blend. Add the whole egg and egg yolk and mix on medium until the dough begins to pull away from the sides.
  4. Cover the bowl with a towel and place it in a warm spot to rise for 30-40 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  5. While the dough is rising start making the filling. Buzz the almonds in a food processor until they’re fine and sandy.
  6. Add the sugar, coconut oil, flour and starch and pulse until everything is well mixed.
  7. Add the egg, egg white and extracts and buzz everything for at least a minute. It should look smooth and shiny when you turn off the processor.
  8. Line a cake pan, pie dish or large skillet with parchment paper. Spread some flour on your table and your hands to begin rolling out the bread dough.
  9. Roll the dough into a large circle and place it into your cooking dish.
  10. Spread the frangipane into the dough. Place the pears and any remaining caramel (from cooking the pears) into the frangipane. Fold over any dough you have hanging over the edge of your pan.
  11. Bake the dish for 30-40 minutes, or until the bread is crusty on the top and the frangipane is set.
  12. Serve with spoons and a smile.