Skip to content


Take control of your brain health as you age. Visit Staying Sharp — it's free for AARP members.


Jacques Pépin's Caramelized Pear Custard

The custard pie recipe elevates the simple pear to something heavenly.

Personal Best Vets Section chef/painter Jacques Pepin

Peter Yang

Legendary chef Jacques Pépin, 79, is the author of 25 cookbooks. This recipe is adapted from his latest, Jacques Pépin: Heart & Soul in the Kitchen.

En español | Legendary chef Jacques Pépin, 79, is the author of 25 cookbooks. This recipe is adapted from his latest, Jacques Pépin: Heart & Soul in the Kitchen.

Personal Best Vets Jacques Pepin Pears

Christopher Testani

This custard pie recipe elevates the simple pear to something heavenly.

Caramelized Pear Custard

serves 6

2 ripe hard pears, such as Bartlett or Comice (about 1 pound)

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups half-and-half

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)

2 large eggs, beaten with a fork

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

How to Make

Preheat the oven to 400⁰F.

Peel and core the pears, and cut each into 6 wedges. Put them in a skillet with the sugar and butter and cook, uncovered, over high heat for 6 to 8 minutes, turning them once, until they are lightly caramelized. Transfer to a 4- to 5-cup gratin dish.

Mix together the half-and-half, vanilla extract, rum (if using), beaten eggs and maple syrup in a bowl. Pour the custard over the pears.

Place the gratin dish on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 25 minutes, until the custard is just set.

Serve at room temperature, with a sprinkling of the confectioners' sugar on top.

Nutrients per serving: 230 calories, 4g protein, 26g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 12g fat, 94mg cholesterol, 50mg sodium

Personal Best Vets Jacques Pepin Chicken

Christopher Testani

A simple chimichurri sauce of oil, lime juice, garlic, and cilantro flavors this grilled chicken recipe.

Grilled Chicken Tenders With Chimichurri Sauce

Serves 4

1 1/4 pounds chicken tenders (about 16)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

Chimichurri Sauce

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1/3 cup minced scallions

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1/2 cup julienned radishes

1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/3 cup olive oil

Preheat the oven to 140 degrees. Heat a grill to hot (or heat a nonstick skillet until very hot).

Put the tenders in a bowl, sprinkle with the salt and oil, and stir until well coated.

Arrange the chicken tenders on the hot grill (or in the hot skillet) and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes.

Turn and cook for 1 minute on the other side, until just cooked through.

Transfer to a platter and keep warm in the oven while you prepare the sauce.

For the chimichurri sauce, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Serve the chicken coated with the sauce.

Nutrients per serving: 254 calories, 33g protein, 3g carbohydrates, 0g fiber, 14g fat, 83mg cholesterol, 504mg sodium

Excerpted from Jacques Pépin: Heart & Soul in the Kitchen, © 2015 by Jacques Pépin. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved

Also of Interest

Join AARP Today — Receive access to exclusive information, benefits and discounts

Join the Discussion

0 | Add Yours

Please leave your comment below.

You must be logged in to leave a comment.