The inspiration for this recipe came from watching Tom Colicchio, the chef at Grammercy Tavern, glaze root vegetables with chestnut honey and thyme. I thought the flavors would work beautifully with pears. I love the earthy, piney, autumnal nuances of chestnut honey and thyme, and I find that these two ingredients add an unusual complexity to the gentleness of the pears. This is a very easy recipe that can be pulled together in just a few minutes, whenever you have some pears that are ripening faster than you can keep up with. Once you transform your surplus fruits, you’ll have an intense dessert that keeps well and is easy to reheat.
LISTEN: Claudia Fleming and Melissa Clark reunite over Roasted Chestnut-Honey Pears in our episode, A Holiday Jubilee.
4 tablespoons chestnut honey
6 small firm, ripe pears, such as Comice, peeled, halved, and cored
5 sprigs of fresh thyme, preferable lemon thyme
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. In a large ovenproof skillet over low heat, simmer 2 tablespoons of the honey until it begins to reduce and caramelize, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the pears, cut side down, and simmer over medium-low heat until they begin to turn golden brown around the edges, about 15 minutes. Turn the pears cut side up, scatter the tops with 3 sprigs of the thyme, and transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast the pears until they are tender, 20 to 30 minutes, depending upon their ripeness.
4. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, simmer the remaining 2 tablespoons of honey with the remaining 2 sprigs of thyme for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the butter, then stir in the salt. Keep warm.
5. Drizzle the honey-butter mixture over the pears and serve hot or warm. (You can make the pears 1 day ahead and refrigerate them; reheat in a 300°F. oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Make the honey-butter mixture while reheating.)
Recipe adapted from THE LAST COURSE by Claudia Fleming with Melissa Clark. Copyright © 2001 by Claudia Fleming. Excerpted by permission of Random House, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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