I like simple fruit desserts in winter especially when they’re served warm, perhaps with a dollop of crème fraiche or vanilla ice cream.
Pears happen to be one of my favorite winter fruits. Here they’re combined with dried figs and tossed together with melted butter and sugar that’s spiked with fresh ginger, cinnamon and vanilla, then baked in the oven for 20 minutes.
Toasted flaked almonds are added just before serving.
Simple, fragrant – and absolutely wonderful!
WARM SPICED PEARS with FIGS & ALMONDS
½ cup (120ml measure) of flaked almonds
4 ripe but still firm pears (I like Bartlett or William pears)
8 oz (230g) of dried black (mission) figs
2 oz (57g) of unsalted butter
½ cup (120ml measure) of sugar (vanilla sugar if you have it)
1 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
First toast the flaked almonds. Heat the oven to 350F (180C) and spread them on a baking sheet. Toast for approx 8 minutes or until they’re golden – set aside.
Turn the oven up to 450F (230C).
Trim the stalk off each fig and cut them in half lengthways.
Cut each pear in half then cut each half into three slices, removing the core and stalk but leaving them unpeeled.
In a wide skillet or sauté pan, melt the butter with the sugar, stirring until the sugar crystals have dissolved. Split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape the seeds into the butter along with the vanilla pod, cinnamon and grated ginger – stir well.
Tip everything into a roasting pan and bake for 20 minutes.
Just before serving discard the vanilla pod and stir in the flaked almonds (or sprinkle them on top).
Eat them just as they are while they’re still warm, or with crème fraiche, ice cream, etc…