This dessert recipe from Williams-Sonoma celebrates winter in a way that’s not too decadent. It’s just right. In season now, pears roasted and served with toasted almonds and a dollop of tart Greek-style yoghurt make a great finish for this weekend’s dinner party. Fresh bay leaves lend aromas of pine and white pepper, adding an exciting twist to this simple dessert. If you’re stuck, dried bay leaves will work too.
- 3 ripe-but-firm pears
- 1/3 cup honey
- 4 bay leaves
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
- 2 tbsp amaretto
- 1½ cups Greek-style plain yoghurt
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Preheat an oven to 190°C. Halve the pears lengthwise. Cut out the stems and scoop out the cores.
In a deep, wide saute 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 colour, 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 yoghurt until smooth. Place the pear halves in bowls, top with the yoghurt and sprinkle with the almonds. Drizzle some of the honey syrup over the pears and serve. Serves 6.
–Adapted from Williams-Sonoma’s Dessert of the Day, by Kim Laidlaw (Weldon Owen, 2013).