Honey-Roasted Pears

WITH BUT­TER­MILK SNOW

Food & Drink - - THE FIRST TIME HOST -

Plump pears are roasted and basted with honey, wine and spices, then paired with a tangy, re­fresh­ing but­ter­milk granita. When se­lect­ing pears for this recipe, look for spec­i­mens that are firm but fra­grant. The clever idea to use but­ter­milk as a granita base comes from Alexan­der Talbot and Aki Kamozawa of the blog Ideas in Food.

BUT­TER­MILK SNOW

2 cups (500 mL) shaken but­ter­milk, prefer­ably or­ganic

6 tbsp (90 mL) su­gar

Large pinch fine sea salt

PEARS

6 firm-ripe Bosc pears

1½ cups (375 mL) fruity red wine, such as Span­ish Gar­nacha or Aus­tralian Shi­raz ⅓ cup (80 mL) honey

3 wide strips orange zest 1 cin­na­mon stick, 3 inches (8 cm) 3 cloves

Mint leaves to gar­nish (op­tional)

1 For the but­ter­milk snow, whisk but­ter­milk, su­gar and salt in a mix­ing bowl un­til su­gar is dis­solved. Pour into an 8- to 9-inch (20- to 23-cm) square non-re­ac­tive bak­ing dish and place in freezer. Af­ter 1 hour, stir, scrape and mash with a fork to pre­vent large ice crys­tals from form­ing. Stir, scrape and mash ev­ery 30 min­utes un­til dry and fluffy, an­other 2 to 3 hours more. (Snow will keep cov­ered and frozen for 5 days. Fluff with fork be­fore serv­ing.)

2

For the pears, pre­heat oven to 425°F (220°C).

3 Cut a ¼-inch (5-mm) slice off bot­toms of pears. Re­move cores from bot­tom with a melon baller or tip of a sharp par­ing knife. Peel pears and place on sides in a bak­ing dish. 4 In a small saucepan, com­bine wine, honey, orange zest, cin­na­mon stick and cloves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisk­ing to dis­solve honey. Pour boil­ing wine mix­ture over pears. Bake pears, turn­ing and bast­ing ev­ery 10 to 15 min­utes, un­til ten­der and the liq­uid is syrupy, about 1 hour 15 min­utes. (Add a splash of wa­ter if the liq­uid gets too thick.) Re­move from oven.

5 Stand pears up and oc­ca­sion­ally baste with syrup as they cool. (Pears can be cooled, trans­ferred to air­tight con­tainer, and re­frig­er­ated up to 3 days.)

6 Pears can be re­heated in a mi­crowave or in a cool­ing oven from din­ner or served at room tem­per­a­ture. Place stand­ing up on chilled plates on a bed of but­ter­milk snow. Gar­nish with mint leaves, if de­sired.

Serves 6

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