Pears make great deserts, whether you add them to tarts, turn then into sherbet, or poach them. Poached pears are usually cooked in red wine. It wasn’t until I decided to make them that I realized how much wine is needed to poach 4 pears! I even used my favorite non-alcoholic red wine, Fre Rouge and it came out beautifully. Over the years I experimented roasting pears in simple syrup, no wine just the pear and it in all its splendor. This is the simplest way to prepare what looks like a fancy desert especially if you plate it well but it can be done in less than 30 minutes.
Which pears are best
You want to use firm pears like Anjou (green on the inside), red Bosc, Bartlett or Concorde. Other types won’t hold their shape as well! Baking the pear brings out its natural sweetness but you want to retain its delicate shape.
Pears are naturally sweet but adding a little sweetener like simple syrup and lemon zest (equal amount of sugar and water), or some agave or maple syrup and vegan butter can take this dish to another level. You could also add some cranberry juice or beet powder to get a beautiful red hue. So you have lots of options and all work beautilfully.
For a finished look, try adding some slivered almonds, sprinkle some powdered sugar, even poppy seeds.
To peel or not to peel? That’s really up to you. Pear skin can be a little firm. I like to keep it when I bake pears and remove it when I poach them. But that’s just me. You can bake the pear whole, but if you make small cuts (like on the photo), they will cook faster and better absorb the syrup.
You can also bake the pear whole or cut it in half, remove the core and bake the cut face down.
Serve on its own or with your favorite ice cream.
So next time you go grocery shopping, grab a few bosc, Anjou or Concord pears, make this classic French dessert and impress the whole family with your culinary talents!
Baked Pears in Lemon Syrup
- Baking sheet
- 4 pears (Bosc, Anjou, Barlette, or Concorde)
- 4 tbsp agave or maple syrup
- 1 lemon zest
- 2 tbsp vegan butter
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract (optional)
- 2 tbsp powder sugar
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
Prepare the syrup
- Grate the lemon zest with a micro planner.
- Mix the agave or maple syrup with the lemon zest, vegan butter and vanilla extract in a small pot.
- Simmer the syrup to blend all the ingredients. Set aside.
Bake the pears
- Wash the pears and dry them.
- Score the pears with diagonal cuts half-way through.
- Place the scored pears on a baking sheet and drizzle or brush the syrup over them making sure that they are covered completely.
- Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes.
- Serve each pear warm with a little syrup, drizzle some sugar powder and sprinkle some slivered almonds.