Want a simple Winter dessert that delivers in flavour and yet needs little to no attention? These oven roasted pears are so easy and baking them with butter and sugar created a wonderful bonus caramel sauce! Perfect for entertaining-just serve with vanilla ice cream!
Poaching pears is a great way to cook them but roasting them produces a wonderful caramel and if you happen to roasting something else at the same time it means that you can have two things cooking without much attention at all. The pale cream pears turn a beautiful golden colour when roasted with the caramel.
How to buy pears: if you want to see if a pear is ripe for eating gently press the top of the pear near where the stem protrudes. If it is soft then it is ready to eat. Pears can bruise easily so if they have any bruises or are soft elsewhere bypass those pears.
This recipe uses beurre bosc pears also known as Bosc or Kaiser pears. I am slightly obsessed with their beauty. There are so many pear varieties but these are the prettiest and most autumnal looking pears and they are one of the early Autumn pear varieties available in April, rather than the depths of winter. I like the gentle curve of the beurre bosc pear and the smooth skin. It also is gorgeous to eat when it's firm and crisp. This is the pear I think of when I conjure up a pear in my mind. These were gifted to me by Valentina.
Can you use other pears? Absolutely! You're best to use firm pears though.
I'm not quite willing to let go of summer and perhaps even Autumn yet. I loathe the cold, no, I detest the cold. I think smaller people feel the cold more because we have less body mass. My hands and feet are always cold (and my ears!). It's the same empirical logic that big men are also reliably good as enormous hot water bottles under the bed covers.
All through summer I went for walks with Teddy and I've strived to keep that up because I love being fit and I've got an obsession with developing my abs (since I spend most of my life not having them).
Now that it's colder Mr NQN is sceptical that I will want to go out for a walk with Teddy. "Are you coming?" he will ask doubtfully pulling on a puffer jacket and cap.
"Of course!" I say brightly (because how dare he doubt my commitment to fitness).
"It's windy you know," he warned me. I don a knitted beanie to keep my ears warm and follow him outside.
Dear Reader, I made it to the end of the laneway when my resolve crumbled. Actually it was blown away, carried off with a gust of wind. "I'm going home!" I said leaving him to walk Teddy, both of them lovers of the cold. And I went home to eat caramelised pears and ice cream.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you think smaller people feel the cold easier? Do you have a favourite type of pear?
Roasted Pears With Caramel Sauce
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
- 6 Beurre Bosc pears
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 cup/210g/7.4ozs firmly packed brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons/80g/1/2 stick butter, cubed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- Fat pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup/125ml/4flozs. cream
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F and have a large baking tray ready. Peel and cut pears in half lengthways and remove the core with a melon baller and place in the baking tray cut side up.
Step 2 - Drizzle the lemon over the pears so that they don't brown. Sprinkle butter, brown sugar, vanilla and salt over the pears and bake for 30 minutes. Gently turn them over and bake them cut side down for another 15-30 minutes depending on how ripe the pears are (mine were firm so needed the 30 minutes). You want them tender and cooked but not mushy.
Step 3 - Spoon the pears out of the dish and drain the caramel sauce into a small saucepan. Heat until simmering and reduce the sauce with the cream until it becomes a nice pourable, viscous caramel. Serve the pears at the table with ice cream and an extra jug of sauce.