Each one of these components stands alone as a classic preparation of a dessert, but this combination of spice, aroma, and texture brings them to a more contemporary place. As a pastry chef cooking to please people, I find one challenge to be that some want modern and innovative while others want classic and comforting. The beauty of this dessert is that it hits notes that are both modern and classic. From the colors to the flavors, it is a true celebration of fall in all its glory; the sweet, spicy flavors of the roasted pears and the brittle play with the delicate, creamy flavors of the meticulously layered crêpe cake, while the sultry flavors of the brown sugar in the butterscotch sauce, as well as the caramelized crunch of the brûlée, hold it all together from top to bottom.
- Yield: 12 Servings
- Layered Crêpe Cake with Orange Flower Water Diplomat Cream
- 6 Bosc Pears Roasted in Caramel & Indian Spices
- 1 recipe Pistachio–Vietnamese Cinnamon Brittle, unbroken
- Powdered sugar for brûlée topping
- 1 cup (240 ml) Butterscotch Sauce
- Preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C). Use a very sharp knife to cut the crêpe cake into 12 slices; after each cut, clean the knife with a damp towel to keep your sliced edges clean and sharp.
- Cut the pears in half lengthwise. Use a melon baller to scoop out the seeds, if desired, and then halve the pears again, yielding 24 quarters. Lay the quarters in the roasting pan used to roast the pears and place the pan in the oven to keep warm until ready to serve (the pears can be in the oven for up to 30 minutes without becoming overcooked). Break the pistachio brittle into thirty-six 1- to 2-in (2.5- to 5-cm) pieces.
- Immediately before serving, sprinkle each cake slice generously with powdered sugar and use a kitchen torch to cook the sugar. It will caramelize and bubble up. Torch it until the top of the slice is a beautiful, deep golden brown and smells of cooking sugar.
- Set out 12 dinner plates. Place 1 tbsp butterscotch on the lower half of each plate, and use the back of a spoon to make a swoosh on the plate. Put a cake slice in the top right corner of the plate, at an angle with the back facing you. Diagonally across from the cake, and near the center of the butterscotch swoosh, lean two pear quarters against each other. Garnish with three pieces of pistachio brittle and serve.