Spiced Pear Flan
by Daniel Rogov
Beat the butter until creamy and then beat in 2/3 of the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Combine the flour with half of the cinnamon and all but a pinch of the ginger. Sprinkle these over the butter, add the eggs and beat together well.
Transfer the mixture to a 9" (23 cm.) flan mold and smooth over the top. Place in a preheated medium oven and bake until the mixture is firm and has pulled back from the sides. Turn onto a wire rack and allow to come to room temperature.
Put the remaining sugar into a saucepan with 4 1/2 Tbsp. cold water, and heat over a low flame, stirring until the sugar is completely absorbed. Add the pears and remaining spices. Heat until the mixture begins to simmer, cover and cook very gently until the pears are tender and nearly translucent (about 10-15 minutes). Uncover, increase the flame and cook until the liquids are reduced to a glaze. Turn the pears out onto a lightly dampened plate and let cool completely.
Decorate the cooled flan with the pears and serve with generous amounts of whipped cream.
Daniel Rogov is the restaurant and wine critic for the daily newspaper Ha'aretz. He is also the senior writer for Wine and Gourmet Magazine and contributes culinary and wine articles to newspapers in Europe and the United States.
Source: Israeli Foreign Ministry and Rogov's Ramblings. Reprinted with permission.