Pears Baked in Cream

By • November 6, 2012 • 3 Comments

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Author Notes: I wanted a simple homey dessert of pears baked in cream. I only got a little carried away flipping through Martha Stewart's Pies and Tarts while trying to figure out whether to pre-cook the pears: Bake? Poach? Microwave? A recipe for a wine-poached custard-pear tart provided the basis for the poaching liquid and I had an open bottle of wine to use up. Unfortunately there wasn't nearly enough in there, so I opened a second bottle of same. This in itself was cause for celebration, so I sampled a little. Immediately things began to fall into place, not only on the kitchen counters but on the floors as well. I forged happily ahead. For the cream sauce I sort of did my own thing, referring a new book on my shelf, Gâteaux from the Fait Maison series for a sort of crème Anglais, but left out the eggs. Deliberately. It's still in the oven baking away. Let me know how you like it.creamtea

Serves 6

to poach pears

  • 3 firm-ripe Bosc pears, peeled, halved, the seeds scooped out with a melon baller, and cored with a sharp knife
  • 4 cups sweet bubbly white wine (I used Moscato)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated organic sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split, and the seeds scraped with the point of a sharp knife
  • 1 bunch freshly-squeezed lemon juice plus a little extra for squeezing over pears

for the final assembly

  • 1 tablespoon butter plus extra for greasing the pan
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 3 tablespoons granulated organic sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split, and the seeds scraped with the point of a sharp knife
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375º.
  2. Butter a casserole large enough to hold the pear halves in one layer.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the white wine, 3/4 C sugar, half-pod of the vanilla bean and seeds, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, 3-4 minutes. Add pear halves. Turn flame to low.
  4. Poach for 10-15 minutes or until tender, lift with slotted spoon and place in buttered casserole cut-side down, alternating the direction of the pears. You may continue to boil down the syrup until reduced by 1/3, in order to brush a teaspoon or so of syrup onto each pear half. Dot each pear half with the tablespoon of butter.
  5. In a small heavy saucepan, combine the half-and-half, the 3 tablespoons of sugar, the remaining 1/2 vanilla bean and its seeds, and the cornstarch. Over medium heat and whisking constantly, bring the cream mixture gently to a boil. Lower heat and continue to whisk until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Remove vanilla bean and gently pour cream around the pears. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes; remove cover and bake an additional 20-40 minutes until custard has thickened and poufed a bit and top and edges have browned nicely. Remove from oven, serve warm.
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about 1 year ago JanetFL

A person very dear to me just gave me Martha Stewart's Pies & Tarts....love your recipe and have some Moscato just begging to be used.

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almost 2 years ago creamtea

Not really "my" new book as in I wrote it, but as in a new acquisition to my cooking library. Was racing to submit this in time!

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almost 2 years ago creamtea

Make that one tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice o_O