Pears are an ancient fruit that have been nourishing and inspiring people across the globe for millennia. The pear is even referred to in the old testament (although the fruit that tempted Adam in the Garden of Eden is widely believed to be an apple). In Christian symbolism the pear frequently appears in connection with Christ’s love for mankind. It shows up over the centuries in literature, paintings and even colloquial nursery rhymes. Pears have permeated European culture so thoroughly it is difficult to imagine French cuisine, in particular without it’s beloved poire.
The French have cultivated pears for well over 1000 years and have developed quite a penchant for the syrupy fruit. Across the pond, pears are prepared in innumerable ways: raw, dried, stewed, baked into a compote or a tarte, or steeped in alcohol. With so many variations of pear perfection, it was difficult to chose only one recipe to share today but with the holidays in mind, this dish has a definite Christmas flavour (or spice to be exact). Cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger melt together in a warm cream bath and massage the juices from the fruit in a way that is almost obscene. The result is a dish that is rich, sweet, fulfilling and so delicious you’ll wish you’d made more. The pears you find in the supermarket at this time of year are absolutely perfect- they are usually the heartier version of the fruit and work well for stewing.
Your house will smell amazing and your dinner guests impressed. This recipe offers a simple, earthy way to celebrate the season with real food, very little processing and even less fuss. Happy holidays!
Preheat oven to 375F
4 large pears, peeled and cored
1 1/4 c. whipping cream
1/4 c. honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
In a medium baking dish arrange the pear halves cut side down. Mix the cream, honey, vanilla, ginger and spices together and pour mixture over the pears. Bake for 30-35 minutes, basting occasionally until the liquid is thick an bubbling and the pears are golden on top and slightly-crisp-mostly-tender all the way through.