This simple, elegant recipe is a Jacques Pépin favorite and is featured in Essential Pépin Desserts. Braised pears are a delicious celebration of cold weather and make the perfect dish to share during the holiday season.
- 6 medium Anjou or Bartlett pears (not too ripe)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons crushed pistachios
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Peel the pears, split lengthwise and core. Arrange flat side down in one layer in a large gratin dish. Sprinkle sugar on top. Bake for about 35 minutes.
Depending on the ripeness of the pears, you may need to modify the cooking time. The sugar should dissolve in the pear juices and cook into a caramel, and the pears should be tender when pierced with a knife. If the pears are still hard, cook for another 5 or 10 minutes. If the sugar is caramelized but the pears are not cooked, add 1/2 cup water to prevent the caramel from burning. Or, if the pears are cooked through before the syrup caramelizes, remove the fruit and reduce the juice on the stove until it caramelizes.
Add the cream to the dish and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, basting the pears every 5 minutes. The sauce should reduce and thicken, and turn ivory. Let cool. The sauce will thicken further. Serve the pears at room temperature, topped with sauce and pistachios. Pairs best with cozy gatherings and lots of laughter. Happy holidays from Oceania Cruises!