Our first bite of these pears engendered shared looks of disbelief, and then we decided that they were so good they could make you cry. Well, rather than crying, we just ate up every little bit in awe-inspired silence. I’ve made these a couple of times since then, and I have to say that there’s just something that happens to these pears and the caramel sauce they create that is just unbelievable. The pears become so unctuous and creamy as they roast, and the brown sugar and butter create this amazing caramel sauce that well, you really have to make these.
I’m not sure how I came across this recipe, but it’s from Tori Ritchie of Food Network fame. I must find a way to thank her. The original recipe did not call for the crème fraiche or the toasted almonds, but they’re a must. The last time I made these, I didn’t have any crème fraiche, so I drained some plain yogurt (in my handy dandy drainer) and after it was quite thick and creamy, I stirred in a little sugar and vanilla. It was fabulous with the pears.
Here’s the best part…these are easier to make than tying your shoes. Really. For 2 people, just take 1 pear (the less ripe, the better).
Cut it in half and scoop out the core (I used a melon baller).
Mix together 2 tablespoons of softened butter with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and a pinch or two of cinnamon. Place this mixture in the center of each pear and wrap tightly in foil.
Make sure there are no leaks so you won’t lose all that caramel sauce.
Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Let cool about 10 minutes.
Unwrap and place the pear on a serving plate, pour the caramel sauce all over, top with crème fraiche and toasted almonds. Prepare to cry.
Foil-Wrapped Pears with Caramel Sauce
For a printable recipe, click here
Adapted from Tori Ritchie
Yield: 2 servings
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
Generous pinch ground cinnamon
1 comice or anjou pear (not ripe)
Toasted, chopped almonds
Blend together butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut pear in half and remove core with a melon baller; cut off stem and blossom end. Do not peel pear.
Place each half pear, cored side up, on a large square of doubled heavy-duty foil (or parchment paper). Scoop up half the butter-sugar mixture and form into a ball with your hands; press into cored pear cavity. Gather foil up around pear half and squeeze juice from 1 orange half over pear. Close foil around pear. Repeat with other pear half.
Place foil-wrapped pears in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake until very soft, about 1 hour. Let cool about 10 minutes, open the foil and place each pear on a plate. Pour all that lovely caramel sauce over the top and serve with a dollop of crème fraiche and the toasted almonds.