Ginger Roasted Pears with Candied Almonds

Food Blog 056 Well be ready for a weeks worth of pear recipes folks!  My local grocery store was selling Bosc pears -- 4 pounds for $1.  How could I resist?  I immediately bought $5 worth.  It seemed like a great idea at the time but now I have 20 pounds of pears in my home.   Even my fiance thought I was a little out of my mind, but luckily they are one of my favorite fruits so they will be gone in no time. :)

My favorite way of preparing pears would be roasting them.  My mother use to make me roasted pears for when I was sick -- however she would hollow out the cores and fill it with mystical (disgusting) Chinese herbs, and even then I still found the pears to be delicious.  The flesh of the pears break down and become very delicate, it simply melts in your mouth.

A few tips on choosing pears:

  • Pick pears that are uniform in size without any bruising or discoloration
  • Make sure they are heavy and firm - the heavier they are the more juice content they have
  • When choosing Bosc pears, pick ones that are greenish-yellow to brownish-yellow
  • If the pears do not smell fragrant simply put them in a brown paper bag for a couple days to quicken the ripening process

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Ingredients for Roasted Pears:

  • 6 just-ripe Bosc pears
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup sweet Muscat
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 12 slices of fresh ginger, about 1/4 inch thick
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Ingredients for Candied Almonds:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

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To roast the pears, preheat the oven to 400 F.  Peel the pears and slice the bottoms to remove the fibrous core.  Stand the pears on the cutting board and cut them in half, scooping out the seeds and core with a small melon baller or teaspoon.  Lay the halves in a roasting pan, with the cavity side facing up.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and and pour the white wine and Muscat over them.  Evenly coat the pears with the sugar and drizzle with honey and lay a piece of ginger over each pear and dot with butter, roast for 30 minutes.  Remove the pears from the oven and flip them over to the other side, cavity side facing down.  Roast for another 20 minutes and repeat the process with cavity side up.  Pour the roasting liquids over the top and raise the oven temperature to 425F.  Sprinkle the pears with 1 tablespoon of sugar and bake for two more 20-minute periods, basting them each time.  The pears should be tender when a knife or toothpick is inserted, with a shiny coating and slight carmelization on the sides.  Allow the pears to cool in the roasting pan and reduce the oven down to 350F.

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While the pears are cooling, prepare the candied almonds. Boil water in a small sauce pan and blanch the almond slices for about a minute.  Drain and mix with brown sugar, honey, and butter.  Using a slotted spoon, trasnfer the almonds to a well greased sheet pan to prevent the almonds from sticking. Bake for 5 minutes or until a toasted golden brown color, the sugar should be carmelized.  Set aside and cool.

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You can serve the roasted pears by itself topped with the candied almonds and a little powdered sugar, or serve with a creamy vanilla or caramel ice cream.  Bon Appetit!!