Recipe: Red Crimson Pear Phyllo Strudel

from Chef Steve Pernetti at Cal-a-Vie in Vista, California

Makes 12 servings

6 (2 pounds) red crimson pears, peeled, cored and sliced

1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) dried cranberries or cherries

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

6 12- x 16-inch sheets phyllo dough

Butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray, or a mixture of 1 teaspoon melted butter and 1 teaspoon almond oil

1/2 cup amaretti cookie or graham cracker crumbs

12 ounces regular or frozen nonfat vanilla yogurt

12 mint sprigs

36 raspberries

Cinnamon cream

1/2 package extra-firm silken tofu

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon almond oil

2 tablespoons sugar-free sweetener

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Combine pears, dried cranberries or cherries, brown sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Let stand for 10 minutes to cool.

2. Layer two sheets of phyllo on a work surface, and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with cookie or graham cracker crumbs. Duplicate the layers two times. Spread the pear mixture over the phyllo. Roll phyllo from the 12-inch side to enclose the filling.

3. Place the roll on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before slicing to serve. Arrange on serving plates.

4. Drizzle cinnamon cream over strudel. Serve with regular or frozen vanilla yogurt, and top with mint sprigs and raspberries.

For cinnamon cream:

Combine the tofu, maple syrup, almond oil, sugar-free sweetener and cinnamon in a blender, and process at high speed until smooth. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.