Roasted pears is one of Autumns special treats. Roasting concentrates their flavour perfectly and the smell and taste of bay leafs, lemons and Vino Cotto gives the juices an earthly simplicity.
Bosc pears are best for roasting as they are flavoursome, juicy and hold their shape. The cooking time depends on the ripeness of the fruit. The pears are cooked when they can be easily pierced with a knife.
Makes about: 6 to 8 serves
Time: 1hr, plus cooling
6 bosc firm pears, peeled, halved and cored using a melon baller
Juice of 2 large lemons, and peel of lemons (removed using a vegetable peeler )
100 gm unsalted butter, coarsely chopped
2 sprigs of fresh bay leaves (8 leaves), washed & dried
½ teaspoon cater sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
75ml extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
½ to 1 cup water
1/2 cup vino cotto.
1 cup (250ml) pure cream
4 tbsp icing sugar
4 tbsp Frangelico liqueur
2 tbsp of freshly roasted crushed hazelnuts for garnish
Heat oven to 180C degrees.
Butter a 10inch round or 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Place bay leaves on the base of the baking dish and arrange pears on top so they fit snugly in dish, cut side up. Squeeze a little lemon juice on pears to prevent discolouration. Scatter lemon peel in between pears. Add ½ cup of water to baking dish to stop pears from burning underneath.
In a small bowl, mix the castor sugar and cinnamon. Scatter on top of pears and dot each pear with some butter. Squeeze more lemon juice on pears and drizzle with oil. Roast pears for about 25 minutes. Add a bit more water to the baking pan as necessary.
Add the Vino Cotto to the baking dish. Baste the pears twice with it’s pan juices until the pears are tender (another 5 – 10 minutes). Keep watch on the pan juices as it will become syrupy in the last few minutes of cooking (not to burn).
Place pears in bowls with the warm syrup and spoon over cream and top with chopped hazelnuts. Serve pears warm or at room temperature.
To make hazelnut cream
Place cream, sugar and liqueur in bowl and gently whisk until mixture is a custard consistency (approx. 5 minutes).