I seem to be on a fruit-cooking kick lately! I’ve gone from grilling peaches to roasting pears. Maybe I’ll toast some pineapple next… just kidding (for now).
When I was 11 my mom bought me a really awesome cookbook called 50 Recipes for Kids to Cook. There were so many yummy recipes in that book! I made chocolate brownies, chicken and potatoes, and (my favourite) cheese straws. There were enough recipes in there to keep me busy for a long time, and I still use some of those recipes today.
One of the fanciest recipes in the book is called “Puffy Pears”. These are pear halves that are stuffed with chopped up bits of chocolate, and then baked on top of puff pastry. It’s easy to make, delicious, and pretty to look at too.
I was looking at this recipe over the weekend, and decided that it would be fun to “kick it up a notch” as Emril Lagasse would say. Is he still on TV? I haven’t seen his show in years…
Anyhow, I thought about all the flavours that would be tasty with pears. Butter, sugar and vanilla… those are all good options. Cinnamon and nutmeg play nice with pears too. I ended up going with nutmeg over cinnamon, but you can easily substitute one for the other.
Once I had my flavour combination figured out, I was really excited to get started on this dessert!
First I roasted the pears with a vanilla bean, butter, and brown sugar glaze. I tested out both Bartlett and Anjou pears, and they both held up to the roasting process. The Anjou was a bit underripe, but you couldn’t tell after I cooked it. You can use either of these types of pears in this dessert, and it will be delicious. If anything, the Bartlett has a fresher, more prominent pear taste.
Once the pears were roasted, I let them cool then stuffed them and placed them on Tenderflake puff pastry. As you might know, Tenderflake is my go-to brand for puff pastry because it consistently gives me great results (and I won’t make it from scratch!). Don’t be put off by the idea of shaping the pastry. The edges will puff up around the pear, so it’s ok if the pastry looks ragged when you cut it.
I still had a lot of puff pastry left over after I made the leaves, and I wasn’t really sure what to do with it. My mom ended up making little “cookies” by gathering the dough into roughly shaped circles and topping them with leftover filling. These actually turned out pretty nice, so you might want to try something similar. There’s nothing worse than throwing out perfectly good food!
I am so thrilled at how these pastries turned out! Instead of stuffing them with chocolate, I stuffed them with apricot jam and chopped pecans. The nuts give a nice textural contrast to the soft pears, and of course they taste good too.
You can top your roasted pears in puff pastry with ice cream, whipped cream, crème fraîche… anything you like really. I tried one with heavy cream poured on top and that was heavenly. Powdered sugar is also a very good option.
- 2 Bartlett or Anjou pears
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- 1 vanilla bean
- ½ tsp nutmeg, grated
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 4 tsp apricot jam
- 2 tbsp toasted pecans, coarsely chopped (reserve 4 long thin pieces for the "stem")
- 198g Tenderflake Puff Pastry (1/2 package), thawed
- ice cream, whipped cream or heavy cream, optional
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper, and set aside.
- Peel the pears and slice them in half. Remove the core with a melon baller, making sure to leave enough space to add the filling later. If your pears have a tough stem in the center, remove that as well.
- Brush some of the melted butter onto the parchment paper (on your baking sheet). This will help prevent the pastries from sticking.
- Scrape vanilla seeds from bean and place in a small bowl. Mix in the remaining butter with nutmeg, sugar and lemon zest.
- Brush both sides of the pear halves with the butter mixture, then place on the buttered parchment paper.
- Roast for 30 minutes, on the center rack, basting every 10 minutes. The butter mixture will melt off the pears and run onto the parchment. Try to brush it back up on the pears so it doesn't burn on the pan. If the butter mixture does burn, you can move the pears to a plate, put down a fresh piece of parchment, and continue roasting.
- Remove the baking sheet from oven, and allow the pears to cool. You need them to be cool enough to handle.
- Meanwhile, combine the apricot jam and chopped pecans in a bowl, set aside.
- Place a large piece of parchment on your counter, and dust with a little bit of flour.
- Roll the puff pastry into a 10 inch square on the parchment paper. Cut the pastry into 4 equal-sized smaller squares.
- Fill the space in the pears with aprox. ½ tsp of the jam mixture. Do not overstuff the pears or they will leak.
- Carefully place each stuffed pear, cut side down, on each piece of pastry.
- Cut pastry into a pear shape by running a sharp knife around the side of each pear. Follow the shape of the fruit and leave a ½ inch border of pastry around the fruit.
- Use the dough trimmings to make a leaf for each pear. Attach the leaf to the rest of the pastry by using a dab of water as glue. Add a piece of pecan for the stem.
- Brush the pears and pastry with the remaining butter mixture.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375°F, or until the pastry is golden brown.
- Serve with ice cream, heavy cream or whipped cream. Powdered sugar is also a good option. Best served warm or at room temperature.
Honey-Vanilla Roasted Pear Recipe, Fresh From the Farm
This post has been sponsored by Tenderflake. All opinions are my own.
This recipe has been adapted from 50 Recipes for Kids to Cook. This post contains an affiliate link to Amazon.com