I was enchanted with the idea of Vanilla Roasted Pears the first time I saw the recipe. I like pears, and for some reason I find the thought of roasted pears very sophisticated. I always want to make poached pears (generally in white wine), but Alex isn’t too keen on them (mostly because of the white wine). I love vanilla, though, and so I was 95% certain that I was going to love this recipe, and didn’t care if Alex wasn’t interested in it.
The whole vanilla beans that I have are actually a milder, more fragrant kind of vanilla bean, so I wasn’t sure it would be strong enough for this application. I had some vanilla sugar that I’d already made, so I used the vanilla bean in conjunction with that. I had 1.5 pounds of Bosc pears for this, which ended up being about 6 halves (if my memory serves me right). I halved them and scooped out the seeds, but didn’t bother to peel them. I nestled them in a 7×11 inch glass pan, drizzled lemon juice over them, sprinkled them with vanilla sugar, and dotted them with butter. I included the vanilla bean in the pan on the pears. I poured water into the bottom of the pan and roasted them for 30 minutes. I turned them over and roasted them another 25 – they were already more-or-less done, but I wasn’t ready to eat them yet and decided it probably wouldn’t hurt them at all to sit in the oven longer. I brushed the pears periodically with the juices in the bottom of the pan.
These were really pretty good. I loved the flavor. They were sweet without being too sweet – sweet enough for a light dessert, but light enough for a snack -and they felt wholesome to eat. The juices in the pan didn’t caramelize, likely because I used a smaller baking dish than originally suggested since I had fewer actual pears. The juices were a delicious addition stirred into morning oatmeal. It was a few weeks ago that I made these and so I can’t adequately describe how good they were – I can only tell you that they were everything I’d thought they would be. I had leftovers as snacks at work during the week, and they held up wonderfully. These pears would be a great accompaniment to a (sweet) breakfast or brunch. I’ll make these again.