March: Roasted Pears

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Buon giorno!

Italians have long ended their meals with a simple fruit or fruit and cheese. They seem to like their sweets or “dolci” in the morning with an espresso. With our ROASTED PEARS, we take our fruit dessert to another level with little sweetness from the added Bourbon Crema and Candied Walnuts.

Not a drop of sugar is needed during the preparation of these pears, making them a very nutritious dessert when enjoyed with no added embellishment. The pears sweeten themselves through caramelization during roasting. A lovely slice of Gorgonzola would be enough to add for any Italian looking for a light finale.

The crema, very much like a French Crème Anglaise,  is a luscious liquid custard, made from egg yolks, and in this instance is laced with Bourbon. It is a beautiful accompaniment to the caramelized pear. It keeps well for a few days in the refrigerator.

The Candied Walnuts add some crunch and interest. The recipe makes about 8 oz so there are plenty of these leftover for use in salads, other desserts, or just for a snack. They are fabulous alone in a bowl with cocktails.

Even with the added crema and candied nuts, this remains a light and interesting finish to a meal.

Pear with creme finish 2 - best

These are such favorites at my house that roasted pears are usually always found in our frig for those moments when the craving for a sweet drives us crazy, but we don’t want to bust the diet. They are simply fantastic served over salad greens.



Serves: 4

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes


4 Bosc or Red Pears

Olive Oil


Make sure your pears are clean and free of grocery stickers. Leave the skins on.

Slice off each end. Then slice in half vertically.

Using a spoon, gently scoop out the core.

Place the pears face down on a foil lined pan sprayed with Pam.

Brush each pear half with olive oil.


Bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes or until a fork slides through easily.

Cool .  They keep for days in a closed container refrigerated. I like to warm them a little in the microwave before serving.


Makes: about 2 cups

Prep: About 20 minutes


1 C. Whole Milk

1 C. Heavy Cream

2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/2 C. Sugar

4 Large Egg Yolks

Pinch of salt

2 Tbsp. Bourbon


Cook the Milk, Cream, and extract in a saucepan until bubbles form on the sides. Remove from heat and cool a little.

Creme 1

Place the sugar, egg yolks, and salt in a bowl. Whisk them together well.

Creme 3

Then add a little of the slightly cooled milk and cream to the yolk mixture and whisk quickly to blend so that egg yolks do not cook. Add a little more and whisk again.

Then add this all back to the remaining milk mixture in the pan and whisk.

Heat this, stirring constantly, until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon, so that it makes a line that holds when you run your finger down the back of the spoon.

Creme 4

Remove from heat and add the Bourbon – Stir and let cool. Strain through a fine sieve to get any solids out.

Refrigerate this custard in a bowl or covered container.

The next day the custard should be much thicker. This will keep a few days in the refrigerator.


Makes: 8 oz.

Prep: 25 minutes


8 oz. Walnut halves or pieces

2 large Egg Whites

1/2 C. Sugar

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pinch of salt

Pinch of Nutmeg

1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon

2 Tsp. Vanilla extract


Whisk together the egg whites, sugar, pepper, spices, and extract in a bowl.

Candied Walnuts 1

Add the walnuts and toss, coating well.

Spray a piece of foil to cover a sheet pan with Pam.

Pour the walnut mixture out on the foil, spreading into a single layer.

Candied Walnuts 2

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, turning with a spoon or spatula about half way through cooking.

Remove from oven and toss a little with a fork. The nuts will crisp as they cool.

Candied Walnuts finish

Once cooled, keep them in a covered container. They keep several weeks.

The ROASTED PEARS  are so easy and can be prepared ahead. The finished dessert is beautiful to serve and memorable.

SERVING IDEAS: Serve the roasted pears simply or with a slice of Gorgonzola or a creamy Blue Cheese. OR – Drizzle each pear with a little Bourbon on a plate and light it for a little flambe!

Pears 5

OR – if served with the Bourbon Crema and Candied Walnuts – drizzle with a little Dark Chocolate or Balsamic Glaze. The Bourbon Crema is also delicious with pound cake. The Candied Walnuts are wonderful on salads or with cocktails.

So many options! You will love this one!


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