Aaah, the thought of these makes me feel hungry. First made in our household about 20 years ago they still feature occasionally in our kitchen, especially in winter. They are a great way to take the evening chill off of the kitchen – turn the oven on, pop in the pears and perhaps some parsnips to roast, pour the wine and put some Italian music on in the background.
This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2005. You can browse more of those recipes in the Retro Recipes series.
Pere al Forno con Marsala e Cannella | Pears Baked with Marsala and Cinnamon
6 ripe pears suitable for cooking
50g unsalted butter at room temperature
100g soft brown sugar
175 ml Marsala
50 ml white wine
2 cinnamon sticks, roughly broken
pouring cream or crème fraîche
Preheat oven to 180C.
Cut a slice from the rounded end of each pear so that it will stand up, then, working from the bottom of the pear, remove the cores carefully with a teaspoon or corer.
Spread a little butter over the skin of each pear and stand them in an ovenproof dish. This is easier if you soften the butter and rub it over with your fingers.
Dust with pear sugar. Pour the Marsala and white wine into the dish. Scatter the cinnamon sticks over the pears and cover the dish loosely with foil.
Bake for about 30 minutes, remove the foil and lower the heat to 150C. Continue to bake for 30 – 50 minutes until the pears are very tender and slightly shrivelled. Serve warm with their juices and cream or crème fraîche.
If you don’t have white wine, use some grape juice with a little white vinegar.
Vino Cotto or Verjuice and a little apple cider vinegar also makes a great substitute for white wine.
It is not as easy to replace the Marsala, as its flavours are quite unique. However, if you cannot find marsala, pears do poach well in a number of different liquid bases. Feel free to experiment. I have used apple juice in which I have poached raisins and infused an earl grey teabag, for example.
This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2005. It is cross posted on our sister site, Heat in The Kitchen, as part of the Retro Recipes series.