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Author Notes: Honestly, this recipe was a spur of the moment solution for the need of a sweet ending to a fall dinner. If I had the usual neccessities in my fridge/freezer, i would have certainly served this over vanilla ice cream or with a dollop of whipped cream; however, all I had since I was running around all weekend was a glorious, local chèvre, freshly picked barlett pears, and lavender sugar. I decided to put two and two together and low and behold, I was far from disappointed. This not only satisfied my sweet tooth, it introduced a whole new way to appreciate a pear. I loved the sweet, herbal infusion from the lavender with the subtle zing from the goat cheese. Nonetheless, this could easily be dressed up or down, in a myriad of ways, depending on your patience and/or what's in your icebox. Enjoy :) —Sydney
- 1/4 cup organic castor sugar infused with lavender seeds
- 1/4 cup water
- 1-2 pears (I used Bartlett because they were local)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- a few ounces your favorite chèvre or any similar soft cheese
- preheat oven to 350 degrees
- make a simple syrup with the lavender sugar and water: combine the sugar and the water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until they dissolve. lower heat to medium-low and stir, watching as they create an intoxicating aromatic syrup. take off the hear and add the vanilla extract.
- slice your pear(s) in half at their midsection. Using a melon baller, or a sharp knife and spoon, hollow out the core.
- place the fruit cut side down in the pan with the syrup and move the whole thing into the oven. After about 20 minutes, take a spoon and drizzle some of the the syrup onto the fruit. Continue baking until tender ~ about 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of your pear(s).
- If your chèvre is creamy enough, take a spoonful and place it inside the bottom half of your pear. It could be cute to reconstruct your pear at this point and bake for a little bit longer to warm the cheese. However, you could also whip the chèvre with some of the syrup from the pan until creamy or mousse-like and add it to your dessert before serving (I took this route and though it was slightly cool, the heat from the pear warmed the cheese by the time I sat down to eat it).
- plate your halved pear however suits you. Garnish with a sprig of lavender if available and enjoy.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Pears