The apple takes the main stage over the pear in most fall desserts. But the beautiful and flavorful pear distinguishes itself as a fruit that, when eaten at its prime, is incomparably sweet with the subtleties of a well-aged wine.
This lovely supper dessert is a light but seasonal and sweet ending for a fall meal.
The key to the perfect pear is to let it ripen at room temperature. The best way to determine ripeness is by testing it near the stem; you want it to be slightly soft. One trick to ripen pears is to put them in a brown bag with a ripe banana!
Sweet Wine-Baked Pears
6 ripe pears, preferably Bosc, cleaned and stemmed
2 1/2 cups fruity white wine
1/3 cup honey
5 cinnamon sticks
4 bay leaves
5 strips organic orange zest
1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
2. Slice off the bottom of each pear and stand them upright in a baking pan.
3. Whisk together the honey and wine, and pour over the pears. Add the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, and orange zest to the pan.
4. Roast the pears, basting frequently, until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
5. Place the pears on serving plates. Pour the wine mixture from the pan to a saucepan, and heat until thickened (about 6 minutes). Pour on top of the pears.
Inspired by Eating Well magazine (Oct/Nov, 2006).