Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Roasted Pears

Wow. Roasted Pears. Where have you been all my life?? These are seriously good folks, in a roasty carmelly sticky yummy sort of way. When I first read this recipe, on the Orangette blog,  I thought they would probably be good. After all, poached pears are good, my pear custard tart is tasty, pears in general are pretty darn scrumptious. But roasting takes these babies to a whole new level. I shouldn’t be so surprised, really. Roasting vegetables has elevated my favourites to delectable status. I don’t know why I wouldn’t assume it would do the same for pears. I just never thought of roasting them before. Oh silly me. This will be repeated , often.

If you happen to have any left, (I had to use every bit of will power to save some!!) save 2 halves for these Ginger Roasted Pear Scones. In a word, YUM.

Roasted Pears:

1 /4 cup( ish) vanilla sugar (see method at end of recipe)

7 medium ripe pears (I used Bosc, but I think any would do)

½ fresh lemon, squeezed and seeds removed

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Peel the pears and cut them in half lengthwise.

 Core them with a melon baller. ( You can leave the stems on if you like, for presentation)

Place them cut side down in a large baking dish.

Drizzle with the lemon juice.

Sprinkle evenly with the vanilla sugar.

Place a piece of butter on each pear.

Add 3 Tbsp water to the dish.

Bake the pears for 40 minutes to 1 hour, basting every 10 minutes or so with the juices in the pan. Turn occasionally. They should be soft and starting to turn a nice carmelly brown when they are ready. Add a few tablespoons of water during the basting time if the liquid is evaporating to fast, I added about 6 more during the whole cooking time, 3tbsp at 30 minutes and 3 again at about 45minutes. (as you can see from my picture, I forgot the turning part...oops!)

Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream, or yogourt, or sour cream.

We topped ours with some maple flakes and a dollop of sour cream, they were heavenly.

Vanilla Sugar

Method 1: Place 1 cup sugar in a small bowl. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds with the edge of the knife. Rub the seeds into the sugar with your fingers until well incorporated . Save the rest for another use.

Method 2: This method is not instant the first time, but once you make the inital batch, you will have vanilla sugar at your fingertips all the time. Once you have scraped your vanilla beans, place the rest of the bean pod into a jar, and fill with sugar. Let sit for a few weeks, shaking periodically, and the vanilla flavour will infuse into your sugar. I top it up with new sugar when it gets low, and add vanilla bean pods whenever I use them. I remember my grandma having a jar of vanilla sugar with vanilla beans in her baking cupboard when I was little. I think she was on to something!

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