In a shallow baking dish large enough to accommodate all of the pear halves, distribute the bits of butter and even sprinkle the brown sugar. Halve, peel and core the pears; place face down in the baking dish. When the oven is hot, roast the pears in the middle of the oven for 20 - 25 minutes, spooning the pan juices over them about half way through.
Meanwhile, make the sauce: In the top of a double boiler over very gently simmering water (or bowl fitted over, but not touching, simmering water in a standard saucepan), stir together the sugar, lemon zest and nutmeg. Add the brandy and the jam and whisk together to blend thoroughly.
Add the egg yolks, one at a time, whisking briskly all the while. After blending in the last yolk, start stirring with a wooden spoon, and continue to stir, constantly, until the sauce thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Don’t worry about any slightly harder bits around the edges of the bowl; just bring them back into the sauce and continue to stir.
When the sauce is thick, whisk in the hot cream until thoroughly blended. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
Spoon generously over the roasted pears. Garnish with the sliced almonds or chopped pecans, if you like.
This recipe was created by Food52 member AntoniaJames.
NB: This is best served warm. It holds well for 3-4 days if refrigerated, and can be reheated in a microwave on medium-low power, stirring well after every half minute or so, or in the top of a double boiler. You'll need to thoroughly whisk it to smooth it out before serving.
You can also make this with apricot jam, but then of course, it won’t be quince sauce. It will, however, be just as delicious. ;o)
When I'm not working (negotiating transactions for internet companies), or outside enjoying the gorgeous surroundings here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I'm likely to be cooking, shopping for food, planning my next culinary experiment, or researching, voraciously, whatever interests me. In my kitchen, no matter what I am doing -- and I actually don't mind cleaning up -- I am deeply grateful for having the means to create, share with others and eat great food. Life is very good. ;o)