The season of fun kitchen shenanigans is almost upon us!! Sometimes I get a little carried away with the time involved in making my recipes. Ideally, I like to make EVERYTHING from scratch, and am a little bit of a nerd about it. It usually goes something like this: “Once upon a time this past spring, I planted some little seeds that grew into such and such vegetables, and I now I’m making you 10 different dishes, which I’ve already been working on for 12 hours today, but no worries! Dinner will be ready at 9 pm…I think… Actually, you’d better have some more snacks. People always know they are going to be well fed when they come over to the Spoon house, and…they know it’s usually going to be a while.
I know it’s the season for spending ridiculously long hours in the kitchen (as I’m sure I will over the next couple of months), but lately I have been craving more simplicity in my life and in the kitchen! So this recipe is the best of both worlds. It comes together quickly, but it’s still scratch-made from good whole ingredients. These baked pears are syrupy and spiced, with a hint of bourbon, and have that addictive salty-sweet caramel-like taste I love in desserts. I like to serve them with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream (my favorite non-dairy ice cream is from Nada Moo) and drizzle the maple-bourbon syrup on top.
It’s a dessert that will shine at the Thanksgiving table, and tastes every bit as delicious as a dessert that takes hours to make, but comes together quickly when you’re juggling your many other dishes! And if you’re craving a little something sweet in the meantime (like, NOW), you can toss together a pear or two for yourself in a manner of minutes for an after-dinner treat!
I hope you’re excited for kitchen shenanigans, and that you let yourself be as simple or ridiculously elaborate as will make you happy!
- 4 ripe pears (I like Bartlett pears for baking)
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil, vegan butter or real butter
- ½ cup real maple syrup
- 2½ tablespoons bourbon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon powdered ginger
- A couple pinches ground cloves
- A couple pinches sea salt (to taste)
- Water as needed
- Preheat oven to 375˚ F.
- Peel and halve the pears. Use a melon baller or metal teaspoon to scoop out the seeds, and a paring knife to cut out the core.
- Spread the coconut oil evenly on the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish. Sprinkle or dust the cinnamon evenly over both sides of the pears. Arrange the pears face down in the baking dish.
- In a small liquid measuring cup or bowl, stir together the maple syrup, bourbon, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and a couple pinches salt.
- Pour the maple syrup mixture into the pan around the pears. Bake for 35-45 minutes, spooning the liquid over the pears every 15 minutes or so. Bake until the liquid has a pourable syrup consistency but has not thickened too much or hardened into candy. If the syrup has become too thick, add a little water, whisk it into thicker syrup and bake for an additional 3-4 minutes, until it reaches the desired texture.
- Serve warm, over vanilla ice cream if desired. After baking, these pears can be cooled and refrigerated for 1-2 days and reheated in a 325˚ oven before serving.