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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Caramelized Honey-Baked Pears

Martha Rose Shulman  
  Time 40 minutes 
 Yield Six servings 

The flavor of cloves infuses these pears and their tawny syrup during their long stay in the oven. Two hours is a long time, but it’s worth it: the pears are transformed, and the syrup, which is not very sweet, is caramelized. The pears will be intact, but they’re so soft you can eat them with a spoon. They also make a nice breakfast with yogurt.

Featured in: Desserts For The Conscientious

6 ripe but firm pears
2 tablespoons honey
¼ cup raw brown (turbinado) sugar or regular brown sugar, preferably organic fair-trade, tightly packed
12 cloves

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a baking dish. Cut a small cone from the bottom of each pear with a paring knife, and place a teaspoon of honey inside. Peel a strip of skin away from the top of each pear, just below the stem, but leave the stems intact. Then place the pears bottom side down in the baking dish. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the pears. Pour in water until it reaches 1/3 of the way up the side of the pears, and place the cloves in the water.
2. Set the baking dish on a sheet pan, place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then turn down the heat to 350 degrees and bake for two hours more, basting every 15 minutes with the liquid in the pan. From time to time, lay down the pears down in the liquid so they are thoroughly moistened and cook evenly. After two hours their skins should be shriveled and caramelized.
3. Remove the pears from the oven, transfer to a platter or bowls and allow to cool. Place the liquid in the baking dish in a saucepan, and reduce to a syrup. Pour over the pears, and serve or chill and serve cold.
Advance preparation: These will keep for three or four days in the refrigerator.
Nutritional information per serving
155 calories; 41 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams dietary fiber; 5 milligrams sodium; 1 gram protein

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