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Pear spring rolls tasty — not filling

SHARE Pear spring rolls tasty — not filling

A serving of this dessert, Pear Spring Rolls With Citrus Dipping Sauce, looks like a painting from an Oriental scroll, has a nice crunch and delivers delectable taste.

The light touch is a theme of the cookbook from which the recipe comes, "Low-Fat & Luscious Desserts" (Clarkson Potter, $21) from the American Heart Association. Believe the title — the book does indeed offer sweet treats that appear quite decadent but turn out to be trimmed of much of their calorie heft.

The index shows plenty of fruit desserts — Triple-Berry, Triple-Citrus Summer Pudding is one — but also includes favorites such as Banana Cream Pie and Fudgy Chocolate Walnut Pie. Happily, the nutrition analysis at the foot of each recipe confirms that these recipes are lower in fat, and therefore heart-healthier, than regular versions. Many dishes are illustrated in color photos.

The not-too-filling Pear Spring Rolls would complement a hearty meal, or could also be packed as part of a brown-bag lunch menu.


Butter-flavor vegetable oil spray

2 medium pears, such as Anjou, Bartlett or Bosc (10 to 12 ounces)

1/4 cup golden raisins

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 teaspoon chopped crystallized ginger (about 1 slice), or 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/8 cup mandarin oranges, canned in water or light syrup, drained and finely chopped (optional)

1/8 teaspoon ground mace or ground nutmeg

8 sheets (about 12 by 16 1/2 inches each) frozen phyllo dough, thawed

11-ounce can mandarin oranges in water or light syrup, drained

1/2 cup fat-free or low-fat flavored yogurt, such as mandarin orange, tangerine, vanilla, peach, apricot, apricot-mango or raspberry

Ground mace or ground nutmeg (optional garnish)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil spray.

Peel pears and chop into 1/4- to 1/2-inch cubes. In a large bowl, combine pears, raisins, walnuts, brown sugar, ginger, cornstarch, lemon juice and 1/8 teaspoon mace.

Keeping unused phyllo covered with a damp dish towel or damp paper towels to prevent drying, lightly spray one side of a sheet of dough with vegetable oil spray.

Place short end toward you. Lay another sheet on the first and lightly spray with vegetable oil spray. Spoon about 1/3 cup pear mixture in center, spreading it so you leave about a 2-inch border all around dough. Fold about 2 inches of each long side toward center of dough. Starting at one short end, roll dough jelly-roll style to enclose filling (you'll have a cylinder shaped like a spring roll). Lightly spray with vegetable oil spray; place seam side down on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining phyllo dough sheets and pear mixture.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until dough is light golden brown. Remove from baking sheet and let cool on a cooling rack for 5 to 10 minutes.

To serve, decoratively arrange 1/4 cup mandarin oranges on each of 4 plates. Cut each warm spring roll in half diagonally; place two halves of spring roll on each plate. Spoon 2 tablespoons yogurt and 1 1/2 teaspoons mandarin oranges into each of 4 small bowls for dipping; sprinkle yogurt with mace.

Cook's tip: For a more exotic taste, combine the yogurt with 1 tablespoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon, tangerine, orange, grapefruit, lime or tangelo zest, and 1/4 teaspoon poppy seeds. If you wish, save about 1/4 cup of the drained mandarin oranges, coarsely chop them and add them to the dipping sauce.

Makes 4 servings (1 spring roll, 2 tablespoons yogurt and 1/4 cup mandarin oranges per serving).

Nutrition information per serving: 290 cal., 6 g pro., 58 g carbo., 4 g fiber, 5 g total fat (1 g saturated), 1 mg chol., 211 mg sodium.