Thursday, September 16, 2010

Roasted Pears with Honey, Bay and Greek Yogurt

This is a lovely (yet different) recipe that I got off of Williams-Sonoma!

Fresh bay leaves contain unique hints of pine and white pepper. In this recipe, they lend their intriguing aroma, usually reserved for savory dishes, to a simple dessert of honeyed pears flavored with almond-scented amaretto, toasty nuts and tart Greek-style yogurt.

1/3 cup sliced almonds
3 firm Bosc pears
1/3 cup honey
4 fresh bay leaves
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
2 Tbs. amaretto
1 1/2 cups Greek-style plain yogurt

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Place the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until fragrant and lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Pour onto a plate and let cool. Leave the oven on. Halve the pears lengthwise. Cut out the fibrous sections connecting the stems to the cores, then trim off the stems. Using a melon baler, scoop out the cores. In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, combine the honey and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the honey is fragrant and turns a rich amber color, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Place the butter pieces in the pot, spacing them evenly. Using tongs, carefully place a pear half, cut side down, on top of each piece of butter. Cover the pot, transfer to the oven and roast the pears for 10 minutes. Using a long-handled spoon, gently turn the pears over and baste with the honey mixture. Drizzle the pears with the amaretto and continue to roast, uncovered, until they are golden brown and a paring knife slips easily into the centers, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the pot from the oven and let the pears cool slightly in the honey mixture, about 30 minutes. In a bowl, whisk the yogurt until smooth. To serve, place each pear half in a bowl, dollop with the yogurt and sprinkle with the almonds, dividing evenly. Drizzle with some of the honey mixture from the pot and serve immediately. Serves 6.

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