Winter isn't the most bountiful time for produce, but the season does bring deliciously fresh pears, which I add to everything from salads to cocktails. In fact, baked pears are one of my favorite desserts to make for a casual dinner party. They're insanely easy and relatively healthy. Plus, pear desserts look and taste sophisticated, so guests are always impressed.
To whip up a pear dessert with local produce, why not try this version with dried cherries and a simple chocolate sauce? It's just a little bit decadent and requires a minimal amount of effort. To get the recipe,
Note: With its sharp-edged bowls, a melon baller is a good tool to have when you're preparing pears. If you don't have one, use a teaspoon.
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
4 (about 1 1/2 pounds total) firm, ripe Bartlett pears
1/2 cup dried cherries
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel pears with a vegetable peeler. Halve lengthwise, leaving the stems intact. Using a melon baller, scoop out seeds. With a paring knife, remove thin fibrous core that runs from stem to bottom.
- In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, place pears (cut side down), cherries, and 1/4 cup water; cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until pears are tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make chocolate sauce: In a small saucepan, combine corn syrup and chocolate. Stir over low heat until melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in cream until smooth.
- To serve, divide pears and cherries among serving plates; drizzle with warm chocolate sauce.