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Friday, September 13, 2013

Caramel Baked Pears

Summer has been showing those telltale signs of coming to an end.  Tomato preserving all done, herbs from the garden cut and dried for the winter and  cucumber plants making an effort to produce those last few  cucumbers as the plants slowly wither away. 

As summer fruit and vegetables disappear from the supermarkets and farmer’s markets the fall bounty is quick to take its place.  My favourite Bartlett pears have already made an appearance in the grocery stores. 

Our pear tree did its best to bring forth a few pears on one branch of a tree which has been grafted with five varieties. Unfortunately, it was hard to determine the variety since they sadly didn’t make it anywhere near to maturity.  I’m anticipating a better crop next year. 

Pear jam was the first thing on my mind after buying some Bartlett pears last week.  It’s one of our favourite fruit jams and a quick check of the pantry revealed the supply was dwindling and needed to be replenished.

I saved several new pear recipes and have patiently waited a full year to try them out with this season’s pears.  Caramel Baked Pears was first on my list although the wait was prolonged to some under ripe pears.

I often make Caramel Sauce around this time of year to enjoy with crisp, tart apple wedges.  A quick dip of the apple wedge into the Caramel Sauce makes an extra special fall treat.

The pears in this recipe are baked in caramel sauce until sweet and tender.  A spoonful of vanilla yogurt and a sprinkle of sliced toasted almonds give a different but very pleasurable taste experience.

Delicious recipes come in “pears” I’m already contemplating a second good recipe to try out!

Caramel Baked Pears
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ cup water
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 medium firm ripe pears
2 tablespoons vanilla yogurt
2 teaspoons sliced almonds, toasted
  1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook 3 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  3. Remove caramel mixture from heat and set aside.
  4. Peel and core pears, cut in half lengthwise.
  5. Arrange pear halves cut side up in an 8 inch baking dish and drizzle caramel mixture over pears.
  6. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F. for 25 minutes then uncover and bake an additional 25 minutes or until tender.
  7. Place pear halves into individual dessert dishes and spoon 2 tablespoons of caramel mixture evenly over pears.
  8. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon yogurt and a sprinkle of toasted almonds.

Notes, Tips and Suggestions
  • I would enjoy these better with a little less sugar, next time I will use ¼ cup instead of the 1/3.
  • Must be delicious served with vanilla ice cream instead of yogurt.
  • Make sure firm pears are used, soft, overripe pears may not give the same result.
  • Will try with a sprinkle of toasted walnuts instead next time.
  • A melon baller works perfectly to scoop out cores.
  • Recipe didn't specify variety of pear to use.  I used my favourite Bartlett, my second choice would be the Bosc variety.

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