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PEAR AND PEPPER FOCACCIA

1 loaf (1 lb.) frozen white bread dough, thawed (I use my own homemade
focaccia or bread dough)
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 medium sized (3/4 lb) firm ripe pears
Parsley pesto (recipe follows)
11/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp coarsely ground fresh pepper
3/4 cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
Parsley leaves

Place dough in a lightly oiled 10 by 15 inch rimmed pan; press and
push to cover pan evenly. If dough is too elastic, let it rest a
few minutes, then press again. Cover dough lightly with plastic
wrap and let stand in a warm place until puffy, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, put lemon juice in a bowl. Core and thinly slice pears
into bowl, mixing fruit with juice. With your fingertips, gently
press dough to cover it with dimpled impressions; also press dough
gently into pan corners. Spread parsley pesto evenly over dough.
Arrange pear slices on dough and press in gently.

Mix sugar and pepper and sprinkle over focaccia.

Bake in 400 degree oven until well browned on edges and underside,
30-35 minutes; after 20 minutes, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. If
making ahead, cool, cover and hold at room temperature up to 6 hrs.
To reheat, lightly cover pan with foil and bake in 350 degree oven
until warm to touch, 10-15 minutes. Serves 12.


PARSLEY PESTO:

In a blender, or food processor, combine 11/2 cups firmly packed
parsley, 3 tbsp olive or salad oil, and 1 tbsp grated lemon peel.
Whirl until pureed. Scrap container sides often. Can make 1 day
ahead and chill.

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