This recipe takes advantage of crisp winter pears that are roasted with butter, sugar and vanilla to enhance their sweet flavor. This is an impressive dessert to serve at your next dinner party, and your guests will never know how easy it is to make.....unless you tell them.
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 vanilla bean, slit in half
- 1 1/2 pounds slightly-under-ripe, fragrant, medium pears, peeled if desired, halved though the stem and cored (Bosc or Bartlett)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the sugar in a small bowl. With a thin, sharp knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise in half and scrape out the seeds. Reserve the vanilla pod. Stir the seeds into the sugar.
Arrange the pears in a large baking dish, cut-side up. Drizzle the lemon juice evenly over the fruit, and then sprinkle with the sugar. Nestle the empty vanilla pod among the fruit. Pour the water into the dish. Dot each pear with some butter.
Roast the pears 30 minutes brushing them occasionally with the pan juices. Turn the pears over and continue roasting, basting once or twice, until tender and caramelized, 25 to 30 minutes longer (if the pears are small, test for doneness after 35 or 40 minutes of cooking; a paring knife poked into the thickest part of one should meet with no resistance).
Serve warm, spooned with the caramelized pear drippings from the pan. You can leave them as is, or slice the pear halves into wedges and fan out onto the plates. Serve with ice cream, or a generous dollop of crème fraîche, or over pound cake, on your morning granola or any dish you want to add a touch of sweetness to.
From Smitten Kitchen and Adapted from Sally Schneider at The Atlantic