Simple, elegant, and richly flavored, Baked Pears have become a favorite at the Thomas Shepherd Inn. Finding good, tasty fresh fruit can be a challenge during the winter months. The Shepherdstown Farmer’s Market is closed until April and many grocery store fruits are grown to ship well often at the cost of flavor, making apples and pears good go-to fruits for winter. Baked Pears are both pretty and tasty and can help fill that winter void.
4 Pears, halved and cored (I prefer Bosc)
4 Bay leaves
4 Cinnamon sticks
2 cups Cranberry Juice
Several strips of orange rind (I find a clementine the perfect size)
About 1 Tbs. honey
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place pears cut side down in a baking dish. Add remaining ingredients. Bake for 45 – 60 minutes, basting with juice every 15 minutes until soft. Serve warm or cold with some of the basting juice in each bowl. Serves 8.
The pears can be made a day ahead and refrigerated over night. They make a great starter for a brunch. The recipe can easily be increased (we usually make 6 pears at the inn to serve our 12 guests) and decreased (if you decrease to 2 pears still use about 1 1/2 cups of cranberry juice).