Prep 5 mins
Cook 25 mins
From America's Test Kitchen. It is amazing how simple this recipe is and the extraordinary results it yields. Impressive.
- 1⁄3 cup water
- 2⁄3 cup sugar
- 3 pears, halved (ripe, medium firm)
- 2⁄3 cup heavy cream
- 1 dash table salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black peppercorns, whole roughly crushed
- 3 ounces blue cheese, strong cut into 6 attractive wedges (such as Stilton)
- Remove seeds from pear halves with a large melon baller, and trim off 1/4 inch from the bottom of each pear half so it will stand upright on a plate. Place the water in a 12-inch nonstick skillet and pour the sugar into the center of the pan, taking care not to let the crystals adhere to the sides of the pan. bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is fully dissolved and the mixture is bubbling wildly. Add the pears to the skillet, cut-side down, cover, reduce the heat to medium-high, and cook until the pears are nearly tender (a paring knife inserted into the center of the pears feels slight resistance).
- Uncover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the sauce is golden brown and the cut sides of the pears are partly caramilzed, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour the heavy cream around the pears and cook, shaking the pan back and forth, until the sauce is a smooth, deep caramel color and the cut sides of the pears are beautifully golden 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Using tongs, carefully remove the pears from the pan and place cut-side up on a wire rack set over a trimmed baking sheet. Cool slightly. Season the sauce left in the pan with salt to taste and the crushed black pepper, then pour it into a liquid measuring cup.
- Carefully (the pears will still be hot) stand each pear half upright on an individual plate and arrange a wedge of the blue sheese beside it. Drizzle the plate and some of the pear with the caramel sauce. Serve immediately. (Alternatively, the pears can be stood upright on a large serving platter, and the warm caramel sauce and the blue cheese can be passed separately.).
- TECHNIQUE: Coring a Pear 1. Cut the fruit in half from stem to blossom end. Use a melon baller to cut around the central core with a circular motion. 2. Draw the melon baller from the central core to the top of the pear, removing the interior portion of the stem as you go.