This is a dish I created for my first project in culinary school. It was autumn and I wanted to make something that felt appropriate for the season.
My studies were in raw vegan cuisine so no baking was allowed. The philosophy behind raw cuisine is that heat can destroy important enzymes and nutrients in the food. Foods are either served raw or warmed, not to exceed 115 degrees Fahrenheit. I used the pecans & apricots to make a raw “pie crust” which provides a rich contrast to the texture of the pears.
Any variety of pear will do, but make sure they are fairly firm because you want them to hold their shape as they are cut into tiny cubes and mixed with other ingredients. One of my fellow students tasted the dish and raved about the fact that she could taste a little bit of salt in the crust. And you’ll notice it too – the contrast of the salt and the sweet crust is a great flavor balance. But some people are more sensitive to salt than others – when you combine the pecans, apricots and salt, taste it and make sure it suits your taste. This terrine is decadent enough to serve as a dessert and healthy enough to eat for breakfast – that’s my kind of dish!
Total Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: n/a
Prep Time: 30 minutes
- ¾ cups pecan halves
- 1/8 t. salt (or more to taste)
- ½ c. dried apricots
- 3 t. liquid coconut oil
- 3 c. pear diced small (about 4 pears)
- 3 T. agave nectar (or maple syrup)
- ¼ t. vanilla
- Whole nutmeg
- In small food processor, mix pecans and salt until coarsely chopped. Add apricots and coconut oil, and mix until sticky – this will form a “crumble” mixture. Divide in two portions, one for each serving, and set aside.
- Using a peeler, peel skin from pears (you can leave the skin on if desired). If you do peel the pear, save the peels for a smoothie because they contain flavor and fiber.
- Dice the pear into small cubes about ¼” square. Gently mix the pear with the agave nectar, vanilla and a sprinkle of fresh grated nutmeg. Stir until combined. Separate into two portions, one for each serving.
- If you have a ring mold, alternate layers by placing the one of the portions of pecan mixture at the bottom of the mold, pressing firmly to form a “crust.” Add a layer of pears from the single portion, add a layer of crumble, a second layer of pears and a final topping of crumble. If you do not have a ring mold, simply place the crumble on the plate and layer loosely, alternating with pear and crumble, ending with a top layer of crumble. Repeat the process to form the second serving, layering crumble and pear.
- Top each portion with freshly grated nutmeg.
Experiment with different fruits of the season and enjoy!