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Raspberry And Dried Pear Napoleons

  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 2 medium ripe, firm pears, stems removed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup Muscat de Beaune de Venise, or other sweet, white dessert white, such as White Port or Sauterne
  • 2 pints fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup melted bittersweet chocolate


  • Preheat the oven to 200° F.
  • Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a small saucepan combine the sugar and water, and dissolve, stirring, over medium-low heat. Add the lemon juice and cardamom, and stir. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
  • With a mandoline or other slicing machine, thinly slice the pears lengthwise to 1/8-inch thickness. Dip the pear slices in the syrup and shake to remove any excess. Arrange the slices tightly in a single layer on the baking sheets. Bake in the oven until crisp, about 2 to 3 hours, switching the baking sheets several times during the cooking process.
  • FOR THE NAPOLEONS: In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of the sugar and the wine, and dissolve, stirring, over medium-low heat, and slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.
  • In a bowl whip the heavy cream until it is nearly doubled in volume. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and whip until it forms stiff peaks.
  • Combine the raspberries and syrup in a bowl and toss gently to combine.
  • Spread 1 tablespoon of chocolate on the bottom of a dessert plate, and top with a pear slice. Layer with a tablespoon of cream, fresh raspberries, a teaspoon of chocolate, and a pear slice, and repeat to make 6 layers in all, finishing with raspberries and chocolate on top. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, to make 4 napoleons in all.