Friday, November 7, 2008

Roasted Pears with Bay Leaf Sabayon

One of autumn’s perfect treats is roasted pears. Delicious on their own, you can also fancify pears with a dessert sauce. Beautiful pears of every variety are coming into the markets and it’s time to enjoy their juicy goodness.

This time out I’ve paired some roasted bosc pears with a sabayon that has a tinge of herbal flavor. Fresh bay leaves have a smell and a taste that lend a mysterious spiciness to desserts. They add just a breath of autumn, enough to place this dish squarely in the realm of earthly simplicity.

Bench notes:

- Baking time for the pears will vary depending on how ripe the fruit is. The pears are done when they are easily pierced with a knife.
- Bosc pears are best for roasting. They hold their shape and roasting concentrates their flavor perfectly. I also tried Comice, widely considered to be the queen of pears, but they were not as flavorful. I think they're best enjoyed eaten fresh and unadorned.
- Use a wine that isn't too assertive, such as a mild Sauvignon Blanc or an aromatic Viognier.

Roasted Pears with Bay Leaf Sabayon
Serves 4

4 bosc pears
juice of 1 lemon
2 T sugar
3 T butter

4 egg yolks
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C Sauvignon Blanc
3 T bay leaf syrup (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Peel and core the pears. Cut into 1/4” slices and gently toss in lemon juice. Place in a baking dish and sprinkle with sugar and dot with butter. Put a couple of tablespoons of water in the bottom of the dish.

Bake pears for 25 to 30 minutes, basting and turning every 10 minutes to brown evenly. Add a bit of water to the baking dish as necessary. Cool roasted pears.

Whisk egg yolks, sugar, wine and bay leaf syrup in a stainless steel bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure that the bowl is not touching the water. Check periodically to see that the water is not boiling. Whisk constantly for 4 to 5 minutes, including the bottom and sides of the bowl. Cook until the mixture is thickened and expanded in volume. If you have a thermometer, you’re shooting for about 160 degrees. Remove from heat and continue whisking for a bit. Set aside to cool.

Bay Leaf Syrup

1/2 C water
1/2 C sugar
8 fresh bay leaves

Chop bay leaves into 1/2” pieces.

Bring water and sugar to a boil. Turn down the heat and add chopped bay leaves. Simmer about a minute or so. Cover and remove from heat and let steep for 3 hours. Strain and store in the refrigerator in a clean, airtight container.


Cannelle Et Vanille said...

nothing like roasted fruit. i really love how you always focus in fruit and always paired it with someone a bit unexpected for the average palate. Must smell wonderful!

Heather said...

ohhh, cool combo! i'll bet that your house smelled amazing after this!! it sounds delicious :)

Zoe Francois said...

What a glorious combination! It is the best of fall fruit with a hint of something mysterious in the bay leaf. Lovely!

Terry at Blue Kitchen said...

The bay leaf syrup sounds like a wonderful, subtle touch. I've been enjoying pears a lot this fall. I recently used them to make Baked Pears with Currants and Walnuts for dessert.

Anonymous said...

That's a fascinating combination! Roasted pears are so delicous, I love the idea of adding a mysterious touch with bay.

Cakespy said...

Ooh, I love the contrast of texture and flavor going on here--and I'm with the rest, oh to have smelled the aromas!

Helene said...

Love the idea of bay leaf sabayon! Brilliant combo!

model ships said...

This is something new. Looks very tasty.