Saturday, November 24, 2012

Roasted Sugar-Glazed Pears

These are a touch labor intensive, but they are delicious and very impressive to look at. We planned on one pear/person, but that ended up being a bit much since we had them as part of a larger buffet. If you're serving them as dessert, you will probably need one/person. We topped them with whipped cream; vanilla ice cream would also work. They are good on their own as well. (the picture above is not great; hopefully my father-in-law got a better one and will send me a copy....)

Roasted Sugar-Glazed Pears

7 firm pears (we used red; they were ripe, but not very soft)
3 tbsp. rum
2 tbsp. dried currants (we used raisins)
2 tbsp. golden raisins
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
2 tbsp. blanched almonds, finely chopped 
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (we used regular dried)
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 2"-piece ginger, peeled and minced
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Zest and juice of 1 orange
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing
½ cup sugar
1. Peel, core, and finely chop 1 pear and place it in a 2-qt. saucepan along with rum, currants, raisins, brown sugar, almonds, ¼ tsp. cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, ginger, and both zests and juices; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring, until mixture is soft and thickened, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

2. Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 9" glass pie dish with butter; set aside. Combine remaining cinnamon with sugar in a bowl; set aside. Using a channel knife (like a "v"), cut a spiral pattern in the skin of each remaining pear from top to bottom, if you like. Carefully core each pear from the bottom with a melon baller, coring about 1½–2" deep. Divide stuffing among pears; brush outsides with butter and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat. Stand pears upright in the prepared dish, and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar; bake until just tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 40 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

~Serves 6 or more

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