Pears are fussy things. Every fall you wait for them to get past the hard and tasteless stage and to move on to juicy tenderness, and just when you think you nailed that perfect moment, it turns out you completely missed it and you wind up with mushy or mealy blobs. Ugh.
Perhaps this is the reason why pears don’t pop up much in Greek cuisine. Greeks are a rather pragmatic bunch, and pears just require too much fiddling with. Despite their fussiness, I really like pears and have found the perfect way to deal with the ones that we missed the “zone” with. That pragmatic Greek side of me can’t stand to waste what I know can be a truly delicious treat. (Other ideas for being resourceful in the kitchen can be found here in my recipe section of the menu.)
Even if you have pears that have gotten to the super soft or mealy stage, they can be rescued with heat. The baking process releases the sugars and juices from even the driest pears. Adding brown sugar, spices, and butter (of course!) definitely helps. A splash of sweet wine rounds it off very nicely, along with a dollop of freshly whipped cream. The best part is that it comes together easily and quickly!
Baked Pears Recipe
This recipe can be adjusted based on the number of pears you have. I also add other fruits like apples if I have them handy. I had a couple of plums that I used when I made this dish shown in the pictures. Just increase the remaining ingredients based on the quantity of fruit used.
- 3-4 pears, peeled, cored, and sliced into 8 sections (and any other firm fruits you may wish to add)
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup sweet wine, any kind (I used a rose)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
Layer your pears, and any other fruit used, into an oven-proof baking dish. Mix the melted butter and wine together in a small bowl and drizzle the mixture over your fruit. In another small bowl, mix the brown sugar and spices together and then sprinkle it evenly over the fruit.
Cover the baking dish loosely with a sheet of foil and place into a 400 F oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Check to see if the juices are bubbling towards the middle of the dish, and that the fruit is tender. If needed, cover loosely again and bake another 10-15 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly before serving, and top with fresh whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream if desired. You will probably desire it! Enjoy!