Sweet and simple. What more (or less?) could you ask for in a recipe? While I’ve always been a fiend for a good farmers’ market, it wasn’t until recently that I discovered a new personal love for, and the potential of almond as an ingredient. Fresh from the cookbook, Farmers’ Market Desserts, the time couldn’t be more ripe to test out this mouthwatering Amaretti-Filled Caramel Roasted Pears dessert for yourself (and maybe share with a few lucky friends)!
Amaretti-Filled Caramel Roasted Pears
From Farmers’ Market Desserts. Makes 4 – 8 servings.
- 4 firm-ripe pears, halved lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 20 small amaretti, about 2.5 ounces weight (almond cookies)
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Premium vanilla ice cream, or 1 cup whipped cream flavored with amaretto liqueur, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375°F, with a rack near the center. Use a melon baller (or spoon) to core the pears, making a small, round cavity in each half.
- Put the 2 tablespoons butter into a baking dish just large enough to hold all the pear halves in a single layer without crowding. (Don’t put the pears in the pan yet.) Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the brown sugar and the lemon juice over the butter. Place in the preheating oven until the butter is melted and bubbly, about 5 minutes.
- Stir the melted butter and sugar with a flat whisk to combine (don’t worry if it remains somewhat separated). Arrange the pear halves, cut-side down, in the pan and bake until they begin to soften, 15 to 20 minutes.
- While the pears bake, put the cookies in a plastic bag and crush with the bottom of a heavy skillet or a rolling pin to make medium-fine, uneven crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a bowl and stir in the salt and the remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Using your fingertips, rub in the remaining 1 teaspoon of butter to coat the crumbs lightly. (Alternatively, combine the cookies, salt, and sugar in a food processor and pulse a few times until reduced to medium-fine crumbs, then pulse in the butter just until combined.)
- Turn the partially cooked pears cut-side up, and brush or spoon some of the caramel from the pan over them (avoid pooling in the cavities). Loosely fill the cavities with the crumb mixture, sprinkling some of it over the flat surfaces of the pears as well.
- Return to the oven and bake until the pears are completely tender when pierced with a pairing knife, 25 to 30 minutes, depending on the type and ripeness of the pears. Set aside to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
- Arrange one or two warm pear halves each in shallow serving bowls, and top with a scoop of ice cream or a generous dollop of amaretto-flavored whipped cream. Spoon some of the caramel from the pan over the top and serve.
What are some of your favorite fruit recipes?