Much Ado About Stuffing

Much Ado About Stuffing

Winter Dessert: Honey Vanilla Roasted Pears with Gingersnaps

Honey Vanilla Roasted Pears
 I happen to adore the combination of Ginger and Pear. There is something bracing, yet soothing about the two together. At the end of a meal it seems to help with digestion, and I never get tired of it.
I have already blogged about honey roasted pears, but in that recipe, the pears are halved and roasted flat in the pan. For this recipe, I was making too many to fit in a pan that way, and so I decided to experiment with roasting the pears standing up whole in the pan. I think it worked very well. This time, I increased the amount of honey I used, added sweet wine, whole vanilla beans, and some butter, and basically poached the pears in caramel. It was really yummy.  I think you will like them too.
  • about 18 small, perfect pears  D’Anjou work very well
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 2 cups sweet white wine (can use water or pear nectar)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3 Tablespoons butter or margarine
  1. Preheat oven to 425 set rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Carefully peel the pears leaving the stems, cut a slice off of the bottom so they will stand, and arrange in a baking pan that is at least 2 inches high.
  3. Add the wine, sugar, honey, butter, and vanilla beans to the pan, they will magically become caramel.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes until tops of pears are turning brown, and the pears start to shrink.
  5. Remove from oven, push pears onto their sides and spoon syrup over pears to coat them well and return to oven for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and rotate pears to the other side, spoon syrup over pears to coat them well and return to oven for 20 minutes.
  7. As the fruit continues to cook they will caramelize, and turn a delicious dark brown, almost black at the stems. When they are evenly browned, and a knife pierces the flesh easily, stand them back up, and continue to roast for a half hour or 45 minutes more, basting occasionally with the caramel. When done, the pears tops will almost be black and the flesh a shiny deep caramel color.
  8. Pears can be served warm or cool. To serve, spoon onto a shallow plate or fruit bowl, spooning caramel over. If desired, serve with vanilla or ginger ice cream, and the ginger snaps below. 


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon  ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  •  1 cup Earth Balance margarine (or 1/2 cup Earth Balance and 1/2 cup butter)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses (blackstrap if you have it)
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 cup turbinado or gold sanding sugar


  • Arrange racks in lower and upper thirds of oven; preheat to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat brown sugar, shortening, and butter in a large bowl, scraping down sides halfway through beating, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add egg, molasses, grated ginger, and vanilla; beat just to blend. Add flour mixture; beat on low speed just to blend. Mix in crystallized ginger (dough will be very soft and sticky).
  • Place raw sugar in a shallow bowl. Using a teaspoon measure, scoop out dough. Using a second spoon, scrape dough from tablespoon, dropping into the bowl with raw sugar; turn to coat well. lightly roll into ball. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with half of remaining dough and sugar, spacing balls 1 1/2″ apart.
  • Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are firm and centers appear cracked, 10–12 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool. Repeat with remaining dough and sugar, using cooled baking sheets.



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