Monday 27 February 2012

Roasted Pears with Salted Caramel Syrup

Although I'm not a Christian, I'll take any excuse to pig out on pancakes and I always get caught up in the Pancake Day craze. I'm more of an American kind of girl; I prefer their airy thickness to the wafer-thin crepe. My usual is blueberry, enhanced with maple butter (also called maple cream - basically, 100% maple syrup heat treated so that it is a buttery, creamy, oh holy god dribble-worthy consistency) that I found at the back of the cupboard but this time I decided on something different. Some sort of fruit was required to go with the salty caramel syrup I had been mooning after.

Pears hold their shape well and in fact roasting is beneficial to the rock-solid specimens we get at the supermarket. The heat softens them up and releases their juices, so you can get away with pears which aren't quite at their best. Roasted with a dab of butter in their hollows, I splashed them with vanilla essence to add further fragrance. Served atop fluffy pancakes and drizzled - or, you know, drenched - in salty caramel sauce, this was one of the best things I've made in a while. That salty caramel is so addictive it forces you to eat it straight from the jug until you feel pretty damn sick.

Pancake recipe is here.

Roasted Pears

Serves 4

6 pears, slightly under-ripe
1 tsp vanilla essence
Enough butter to dot into the hollows

Heat the oven to 190 degrees C. Peel the pears and halve - scoop out the middles with the seeds and dot with a small cube of butter. Roast for 20 minutes, then turn over and roast for another 20 minutes. Smaller or riper pears may need less so give them a poke every so often.

Salty Caramel Syrup

Serves 4

150gr soft brown sugar
80gr butter
100ml double cream
A hefty pinch of sea salt flakes

In a large saucepan (don't be tempted to use a small one, you want some good whisking space) heat the sugar up until it has all melted, stirring occasionally so that it melts evenly. Add the butter in and whisk well until incorporated. It may look lumpy and a bit gross at this point. Whisk in the cream, poured in a steady stream. Cook gently while whisking until smooth and silky - this may take a few minutes. Add the salt and then taste - carefully, it'll be molten - and add more if you think it needs it. I like my caramel quite salty.

Serve the roasted pears atop the pancakes, drizzled with the caramel sauce.


Margot said...

Sounds and looks gooood! :)

Katy Salter @ Pinch of Salt said...

Oh wow - these look filthy-amazing. For some reason if I'm out for breakfast I'll always go for thick American style pancakes, but on Pancake Day I always end up going for traditional thin crepes with a little lemon and sugar, or dulce de leche.

One man and his hob said...

I love cooked pears, and with a sweet and Salty Caramel Syrup
i think this would be an amazing combination!
not forgetting the pancake.

This will be happening on a plate near me soon.

Shu Han said...

I like both, crepes and fat american pancakes, but pancakes always mean the latter for me. I just tend to make the british 'pancake' more because it's easier!

I love the roasted pears! I'm kind of disappointed I just ate the last pear in the house plain. grrahh.

Kavey said...

Good God! These look fantastic, even to another non-Christian who also gets really into Pancake Day. I went for thick pancakes, with bacon embedded in them, and maple syrup. Your pear and salted caramel look even better!

Heather @ The SW Food Blog said...

I'm totally with Katy, Pancake Day is meant for those thin frenchies! Really like the sound of the salty caramel syrup - it's the flavour du jour!

Richard Elliot said...

I love cooked pears, but it's not something I ever seem to do at home. Poaching seems a faff and a waste of bottle of red wine to me! I love the idea of baking them.

We've got pears just coming into season here in Sydney so I'm going to give this one a go.

little said...

i made these.
i loved them.
i really like the way they look like roast potatoes, which i also love, of course.
I shall now roast any pear that comes near!

Dave said...

Amazing, can't wait to try, thanks.