Budget Friendly Meals: Rosemary Custard and Wine-Poached Pears

Finish your meal with this healthy dessert.


The first step toward eating well while spending less is planning.

Howard Lee Puckett

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Serves 4

This healthful dessert is a great way to finish a meal. The fresh rosemary counters the sweet pears to balance the flavors.

Rosemary Custard
• 1⁄2 cup vanilla soy or rice milk
• 1 vanilla bean, split
• 1 cinnamon stick (2 inches long)
• 1 sprig rosemary
• 1 package (16 ounces) firm silken tofu, well-drained
• Agave syrup, honey or maple syrup to taste
• 4 Wine-Poached Pears (recipe follows)

1. Combine milk, vanilla bean, cinnamon stick and rosemary in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover, remove from heat and cool. Discard vanilla, cinnamon stick and rosemary sprig.

2. Process tofu for 30 seconds or until smooth. Gradually add infused milk, blending until smooth.

3. Spoon Rosemary Custard onto individual dessert plates; sprinkle with powdered cinnamon. Place a pear in the center of each plate. Garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs.

Wine-Poached Pears
• 4 pears
• 4 1⁄2 cups apple juice
• 1 1⁄2 cup dry Riesling wine
• 1⁄2 vanilla bean split lengthwise

1. Peel pears, removing core from bottom end, leaving stems intact. Cut a thin slice from bottom so pears will stand upright.

2. Combine apple juice, wine and vanilla bean in a small Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Add pears, standing upright; cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until tender. Remove to a cooling rack to drain and cool pears and liquid; return pears to cooled poaching liquid until serving time; drain pears before serving. 

Pat Crocker cooks bistro-style food with her favorite herbs every week. Her latest book,(Robert Rose, 2009), is now available.

Budget Friendly Meals.