Baked pears with a caramel sauce, a speciality of Brittany. It’s an irresistible combination!
6 ripe Comice pears or any very firm, sweet pear, peeled and cored
6 teaspoons of butter
6 teaspoon sugar
sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
1 cup heavy cream
Heat oven to 425. Place pears, cut in half, cut side down in a baking dish so that they fit side by side. Dot each pear with butter and sprinkle the sugar and pinch of cinnamon over them.
Bake in the middle to low part of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the sugar, butter and pear juices caramelize. Depending on your oven, this could take a few minutes longer, or not.
If they are not caramelizing well, turn up the heat to 475 and watch them closely so that they do not burn. I have even caramelized the sauce on top of the stove in a pinch, and it worked beautifully. The guests never knew that a bunch of cranky pears did not feel like getting golden brown that night.
When the pears are lightly browned and the sauce is caramelized, pour in the cream and sort of jiggle it around in the pan; put the pears back in the oven for 5 minutes to marry the cream and sauce, then serve with a little of the sauce over the pears.
Fresh raspberries are good on the side for color, and of course, taste.
If you have leftovers spread them on toast for petit dejeuner.
Recipe by Suzanne Dunaway an artist and author of Rome, At Home, la cucina italiana in your own kitchen, and No Need to Knead: Handmade Italian Breads in 90 Minutes. She also founded Los Angeles’s renowned Buona Forchetta Handmade Breads, which began in her home kitchen and baked up to 15,000 loaves a day of artisan bread. Her illustrations have appeared in The New Yorker, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, the Los Angeles Times, and more. She now lives in France and sometimes, Rome. Find out more at: www.suzannedunaway.com She blogs about her French cat at: www.livingwithloulou.com