Crisp on the outside, meltingly soft within, these hot little packages are delectable. They can be prepared several hours in advance, up to the stage where you cook them, and the pears can be poached a day ahead.
- 2 1/2 cups superfine sugar
- 8 cloves
- 4 perfectly ripe pears
- 10 oz. rough puff pastry
- 6 crêpes, 7-8 inches in diameter
- 8 fresh mints
- 4 cups grapeseed or peanut oil, to deep-fry granulated sugar, to dust
- Put 2 cups water into a pan with the sugar and cloves and bring to a boil over gentle heat. Keep the syrup at a bare simmer.
- Peel, halve, and core the pears, then add to the syrup and poach gently for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the pears cool in the syrup. Once cooled, place in the refrigerator.
- On a lightly floured counter, roll out half the dough as thinly as possible, no more than 3⁄4 inches thick. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with waxed paper and refrigerate.
- Roll out the remaining dough in the same way, then layer on the other rolled-out sheet in the refrigerator, with a sheet of waxed paper in between.
- Drain the pears and cut into 3⁄4-inch dice. Cut the crêpe into pieces just big enough to wrap the pear pieces. Roll each pear dice in snipped mint, then wrap in a crêpe piece.
- Cut the dough into 3 1/4-inch squares. Place a crêpe-covered piece of pear in the center of each dough square, then bring the sides of the square up over the top and pinch the edges together to seal. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or deep, heavy pan to 340°F. Cook the packages, in batches of 8–10 at a time, in the hot oil for 4 to 5 minutes, until nutty brown in color and crisp. Drain on paper towels; keep hot while cooking the rest.
- Serve the little packages hot, dusted with granulated sugar.