Brandied Baked Pears and Cranberries

A couple of years ago we inherited some brandy but never used it. Last year my hubby was desperate to find a dessert using pears and brandy, in hopes to knock out two items that were lingering in the kitchen.

His first attempt with this combo was using an Epicurious recipe, Brandied Baked Pears. It was too strong to enjoy. Perhaps if you’re a true brandy fan you would appreciate it. So, the recipe sat in the cookbook of collected recipes and was not repeated… until last night.

Knowing my husband desired to repeat the recipe, I suggested he tweak it a bit. Afterall, what are recipes for if you can’t adjust them to fit what’s in your kitchen and your personal preferences?

Here’s the result…

You’ll Need:
6 firm Bosc or Bartlett Pears
1/4 cup packed Light Brown Sugar
2 TBSP Unsalted Butter
1/2 cup Water
1/4 cup Brandy of Choice (or substitute for non-alcoholic option)
1 cup Fresh Cranberries
1 firm Banana, sliced (optional)
Whipped Cream or Vanilla Ice Cream (optional)
Melon Baller

Directions (taken from epicurious.com):
1. Preheat oven to 450F, with oven rack in middle position.
2. Peel and halve pears, leaving stems intact. Then, core pear halves with melon-ball cutter and toss with brown sugar in a large bowl.
3. Melt butter in a 3-quart shallow baking dish in oven, about 1 minute, then add pears, turning to coat with butter. Add banana slices and cranberries to the dish. Then, add water and bake pears, turning over occasionally, until tender and edges are caramelized, 30 to 50 minutes, depending on ripeness of pears.
4. Transfer pears with a slotted spoon to a plate. Then add brandy (or brandy substitute) to baking dish and stir with a heatproof rubber spatula to dissolve any caramelized juices. Return pears to dish.
5. Allow dish to sit for 20-30 minutes so the sauce can develop.
6. Serve pears and sauce alone, with whipped cream or ice cream. Have fun with it.

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