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Honey-Pecan Roast Pears

Honey-Pecan Roast Pears
For an easy, old-fashioned dessert, serve these crunchy-topped, honey-coated pears with whipped cream. You may use plums or apples in place of the pears.

Ingredients:

  • 6 large firm yet ripe pears such as Anjou,
      Bartlett or Bosc
  • 1 lemon, zest grated and fruit cut in half
  • About 4 Tbs. fragrant blossom honey, such
      as clover or wildflower
  • About 2 Tbs. orange juice
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 cup mixed dry cereals such as a mixture of
      oat, wheat flake and toasted granola
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, or to taste

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 375°F.

Peel the pears, cut in half lengthwise and core. Immediately squeeze the lemon juice from both halves over the pears. Cut the pears lengthwise into thick slices and arrange in a baking dish or pie dish large enough to hold them in a single layer. Drizzle 1 1/2 to 2 Tbs. of the honey over the top and add enough orange juice to form a light film on the bottom of the dish. Roast the pears for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a dry small fry pan over high heat, toast the pecans, shaking the pan constantly, until they are aromatic, 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove from the heat and reserve several pecan halves for garnish. Transfer the remaining nuts to a food processor and chop coarsely. Add the cereals, lemon zest and brown sugar and process until evenly chopped and well mixed. Spoon the cereal mixture over the partially roasted pears, forming a "crust." Drizzle with 2 to 3 more tsp. of the honey. Continue to roast until the crust is browned on top and the pears are tender when pierced, 15 to 18 minutes more.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the remaining 1 Tbs. honey into the cream. Beat until soft peaks form, then fold in the vanilla.

Remove the pears from the oven. Spoon a dollop of whipped cream on each serving, garnish with the reserved pecan halves and serve immediately.
Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Everyday Roasting, by Janeen Sarlin (Time-Life Books, 1998).