Orange and Cardamom Roasted Pears
It has been an incredible fall. One of the prettiest ones I can remember. Until November hit we had very little rain and so many beautiful sunny days. The colours of the trees have been stunning and the light, oh the light. I love fall and the light at this time of year brings such intensity of colour to everything. I love walks in the crisp air, leaves crunching under foot and curling up with a good book and a warm drink.
I have been enjoying watching the little maple tree turn colour outside my bedroom window and the way the light hits it in the late afternoon. It is currently raining yellow, orange and red leaves all over the road and cars parked on the street. Soon the rain and wind will wash and blow it all away until next year.
Then there is the cooking and the baking. Lots of soups, stews, and roasting happening in the kitchen these days. Lots of roots, dark leafy greens, apples and pears and warm spices. There have been ginger cookies, banana cake and roasting fruits.
Apples and pears will be the main fruits for the coming months. Roasting is such a nice way to enjoy fruit in the winter, it brings a warming quality that is much needed on cold winter days. The combination of the honey, orange and cardamom with the pears is really lovely and the cardamom has a warming thermal quality to help keep you cozy.
The orange and pear juices, honey and butter cook up to make almost like a cardamom scented caramel that works perfectly to spoon over the pears when you serve them.
The pears are delicious served with thick yogurt and drizzled with the pan juices. You could also do whipped cream or ice cream. I had some maple granola with slivered almonds that I sprinkled on as well for a little crunch. Some chopped toasted nuts would be good too. The pears are also tasty sliced up and served over waffles or pancakes or on top of a warm bowl of oatmeal.
I think the best parts of fall and winter cooking (aside from the eating) are the smells that fill the house, this one is no exception. Hope you are enjoying the cool days and keeping warm and cozy in the kitchen.
Orange and Cardamom Roasted Pears
These roasted pears are lovely served with a dollop of thick yogurt and a sprinkle of granola. I am sure they would also be tasty with whipped cream or ice cream and a sprinkling of roasted chopped nuts for crunch. The pears would also be lovely cut up and served on top of waffles or pancakes. I used Bosc pears as they are firmer and hold their shape but I am sure other varieties would work well.
Serves 6 (or 3 if you want to serve a whole pear each)
3 medium-large Bosc pears (1 1/2 pounds), pears should be firm but ripe
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 1 inch strips of orange zest, removed from orange with a vegetable peeler (careful to just remove the orange zest and not the white pith)
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (juice of 1 medium orange)
6 cardamom pods, gently bruised
Preheat the oven to 375F. Place the honey and orange juice in a 9 x 11 inch roasting pan. Mix with a fork to combine.
Meanwhile, peel the pears, cut in half lengthwise and remove core with a melon baller. Roll pears around in the honey and orange juice to coat, then place cut side up in the pan. Dot each pear with a little bit of the butter. Scatter the orange zest and cardamon pods in the gaps between the pears.
Place in a preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Flip over and bake another 20-25 minutes, until a knife inserts easily into the pear and the juices have reduced down and are golden and thick like a caramel.
Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Serve warm with a good dollop of thick yogurt, whipped cream or ice cream and drizzle with the pan juices.
Note: You can roast these ahead, just reheat in the oven at 325F until warm and the pan juices have softened up again.