Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr
by Executive Chef Smokey the Pear
- Choose a casserole or baking dish with just enough room to lay the pears head to tail in a single layer.
- Peel the pears thinly, leaving the stalks on, and then immediately roll each one in a saucer containing the juice of the lemon.
- Put the pears into the dish.
- Spoon on a scant 4 tablespoons of maple syrup and add any lemon juice remaining in the saucer.
- Bring the grape juice to simmering point and pour it over the pears.
- Cover the dish and bake at 350°F until the fruit is beautifully tender.
- How long this will take varies enormously- 1 hour is enough for semi-ripe dessert pears; 3 hours or more may be needed for pears that are so hard that they seem to be carved from wood.
- Baste the pears frequently as they bake and turn them occasionally to encourage even cooking.
- When the pears are ready, transfer them to a serving dish, standing them upright.
- Boil the cooking liquid until it turns syrupy and is reduced by about half.
- Stir in an extra tablespoon or two of maple if you think a little more sweetness is desirable but avoid the temptation to make the juices too sweet; the appeal of the dish lies in its fruitiness.
- Spoon the syrupy glaze over the pears.
- Serve warm or cold.