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Roasted Pears with Honey and Yogurt

In this recipe, fresh bay leaves lend aromas of pine and white pepper—flavors typically reserved for savory dishes—to a simple dessert of honeyed pears. Toasted almonds and amaretto round out the mix, and a dollop of tart Greek-style yogurt brings it all together.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe-but-firm Bosc pears
  • 1/3 cup (4 oz./125 g) honey
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • 2 Tbs. amaretto
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 oz./375 g) Greek-style plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) sliced almonds, toasted

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C). Halve the pears lengthwise. Cut out the stems and scoop out the cores.

In a deep, wide sauté pan over medium-high heat, combine the honey and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the honey is fragrant and turns a rich amber color, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Place the butter pieces in the pan, spacing them evenly. Using tongs, place a pear half, cut side down, on top of each piece of butter. Cover the pan, transfer to the oven and cook for 10 minutes, then gently turn the pears over and baste with the honey mixture. Drizzle the pears with the amaretto. Return the pan, uncovered, to the oven and continue to cook until the pears are golden brown and tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the pears cool slightly in the honey mixture, about 30 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk the yogurt until smooth. Place the pear halves in bowls, top with the yogurt and sprinkle with the almonds. Drizzle some of the honey syrup over the pears and serve. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Dessert of the Day, by Kim Laidlaw (Weldon Owen, 2013).