Holiday Baked Pears, a Classic Seriously Simple Dessert

These pears look fancy and very inviting.
Holiday Baked Pears, a Classic Seriously Simple Dessert
Bosc pears are a good choice for this bistro-style dessert. (Chris Shorten/TNS)

Are you exhausted from all the holiday cooking you have been doing? It’s time to find recipes that supply all the glitz without the hard work in the kitchen. Here’s a recipe I rely on during the holidays for its deliciousness and rustic appearance.

The wrinkly pears are unpeeled, a plus for the Seriously Simple cook, and dressed with the rich red glaze that adds a bit of sparkle to a holiday dessert. You can make this in the morning and leave at room temperature until ready to serve. I like to serve these on a rectangular platter garnished with optional cranberries or pomegranate seeds and some fresh mint leaves for a touch of greenery.

Baked fruits benefit from the heat and caramelization that takes place in the oven. Bosc pears are a good choice for this bistro-style dessert because they have a creamy texture and hold up well during cooking.

This wonderful holiday dessert is light and has many variations, so you can put your own signature spin on it. Following the recipe you will find some other flavor ideas. Serve at room temperature or reheat them just before serving; either way, these pears will shine.

Red Wine-Pomegranate Glazed Holiday Baked Pears

Serves 6
  • 3/4 cup red wine such as merlot or cabernet sauvignon
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate juice, bottled or refrigerated
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Finely chopped zest of 1 orange
  • 6 ripe Bosc pears, with stems attached
  • Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Combine red wine, pomegranate juice, sugar, cinnamon stick, and orange zest in a medium non-reactive saucepan and bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar, about 3 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick.

Core pears from the bottom (a melon baller works well for this), and then cut the bottom flat so that the pears can stand upright. Place the pears in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with the stems up. Carefully wrap each pear stem in foil so that the stems don’t burn while roasting. Pour wine mixture over pears and place in the oven.

Bake pears for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a knife, basting every 20 minutes with the pomegranate-wine sauce.

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Remove pears from the oven. Let cool for 10 minutes and then arrange on a serving platter, using a spatula. Spoon the glaze over the pears and garnish with mint leaves. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tasty Tips

  • Make sure the pears have stems attached for a pretty presentation. Also wrap each stem in foil so the stems don’t burn.
  • Remove them after baking carefully.
  • Use a shallow rimmed glass or ceramic baking dish so that the liquid can reduce.
  • Try some other flavors: Substitute the pomegranate juice for cranberry cocktail, or use only red wine, or try a sweet dessert wine flavored with a vanilla bean along with the sugar.
  • This dish may be prepared up to 8 hours ahead through Step 4 and kept at room temperature.
  • Serve these with a biscotti cookie and French vanilla ice cream, if desired.
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Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including "Seriously Simple Parties," and a James Beard Award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at Copyright 2021 Diane Rossen Worthington. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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