In this easy autumnal recipe, fresh bay leaves lend their intriguing aroma, usually reserved for savory dishes, to a simple dessert of honeyed pears flavored with almond-scented amaretto, toasted nuts and tart Greek-style yogurt.
Roasted Pears with Honey and Greek Yogurt
- 1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) slivered almonds
- 3 ripe but firm Bosc pears
- 1/3 cup (41/2 fl. oz./140 ml) honey
- 4 fresh bay leaves
- 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
- 2 Tbs. amaretto liqueur
- 1 1/2 cups (12 oz./375 g) nonfat or low-fat plain Greek-style yogurt
1. Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C). Place the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven, stirring once or twice, until fragrant and lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Immediately pour onto a plate to cool. Leave the oven on.
2. Halve the pears lengthwise. Using a melon baller, scoop out the cores.
3. In a small Dutch oven or heavy ovenproof saucepan, combine the honey and bay leaves and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. 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.
4. Place the butter pieces in the pot with the honey, spacing them evenly. Using tongs, carefully place a pear half, cut side down, on top of each piece of butter. Cover the pot and roast the pears in the oven for 10 minutes. Using the tongs, gently turn the pears over. Switch to a long-handled spoon and baste the pears with the honey mixture. Drizzle the pears with the amaretto and continue to roast, uncovered, until golden brown and a sharp knife slips easily into the centers, 6 to 8 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and let the pears cool slightly in the honey mixture, about 30 minutes.
5. In a bowl, whisk the yogurt until smooth. To serve, arrange the pear halves on a platter, drizzle the honey mixture from the pot over the top, and sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Serve immediately, passing the yogurt at the table. Serves 6.
Find more simple, nourishing recipes in our cookbook Good for You, by Dana Jacobi.