18 Oct Rum, Maple and Vanilla Baked Pears with Hazelnuts
This is one of my favourite desserts when I need something comforting that requires minimum prep. Not only is it incredibly easy to make but is also very forgiving. Don’t have maple syrup? Use honey. Don’t have hazelnuts? Use almonds. Don’t have vanilla pods? Use a teaspoon of cinnamon. Don’t have rum? Use Frangelico or port. You can really get creative with the ingredients and customise it just to your liking. I’ve made this recipe many times with slightly different ingredients, and each time it is delicious! All that’s needed is a something creamy on the side – mascarpone, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream all do the job perfectly.
*For an alcohol-free option, replace the rum with 2 tbsp apple or pear juice.
6 pears, ripe but firm (I like Bosc or Bartlett pears)
1 vanilla bean
45ml maple syrup (3 tbsp)
60ml rum (¼ cup)
mascarpone, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to serve
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a large dish or baking tray.
- Peel the pears and slice in half vertically. Use a melon baller or spoon to scoop out the seeds and core. I like to leave the stems on.
- Halve the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds. Add to the maple syrup, then stir in the rum.
- Roughly chop the hazelnuts.
- Arrange the pears face up in the prepared dish, then drizzle over the rum mixture. Sprinkle with the chopped hazelnuts. Place the vanilla pod halves in the dish for extra flavour.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, basting with the excess rum sauce halfway through. The baking time will depend on the size and firmness of the pears – test by inserting a sharp knife, they should be soft but not falling apart.
- Serve the pear halves hot with vanilla ice cream or mascarpone, and the extra rum sauce from the dish.