Baked pears are so comforting on a chilly day. They are soft, warm, and sweetened almost entirely naturally, since they are basically fruit stuffed with fruit. This is an exotic looking dessert that really isn’t very hard to create. Impress your friends with this yummy recipe, or eat them by yourself!
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup dried cherries, prunes, or dates – chopped if larger than raisins.
4 large Bosc pears
2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2-3 Tbsp chopped pecans
½ cup water
1 cinnamon stick or ½ tsp ground cinnamon
Plain yogurt (nonfat or lowfat)
BOIL: Place all the dried fruit into a small pot of water and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer while preparing the pears. Peel and core the pears, digging out a cavity about 1 inch across and 2-3 inches deep from the bottom end, leaving the stem intact. Drain the dried fruit, which should now be plumped a little, and put into a small bowl.
PREPARE: Stir in the brown sugar and ½ tsp cinnamon. Press the mixture firmly into the cavities of the pears and then set the pears, stems up, in a small baking pan. Add the water and cinnamon stick. (If using ground cinnamon, mix into water before pouring it into the pan.)
BAKE: Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 325° F for 40-45 min. or until warm and soft.
FINISH: Serve the pears topped with pan juices and with a side of plain yogurt.
NOTE: yogurt can be placed in a paper coffee filter suspended over a bowl in the refrigerator to create “yogurt cheese.” The liquid whey drains out, leaving a thicker, custard-like texture that may be preferred for a dessert.