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Baked Pears with Raisins and Almonds: An easy summer dessert

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Summer is right around the corner here in Central New Jersey, and one of the telltale signs is the abundance of fruit at the Farmer’s Markets.

Fruit is one of the most versatile foods. Blueberries and strawberries are great snacks, while the season’s many varieties of melons – either together or alone – can be entire meals within themselves. And of course, a juicy piece of fruit always makes a nice summertime dessert.

Here’s a recipe for baked pears that starts out simple but can be made as decadent as desired.

One serving would be a half a pear. Bosc pears are good for baking, according to the USA Pear website, and they hold up well in this recipe.

Baked Pears with Raisins and Almonds (serves 2)

Ingredients

1 Bosc pear
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ cup brown sugar
2 Tbs. lemon juice
Handful of raisins (or other dried fruit or baking chips, see below)
Handful of slivered almonds, preferably toasted
Chocolate or caramel sauce, optional

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Cut pears in half lengthwise and remove seeds.
3. Place pears cut-side up in a baking dish.
4. Mix together the brown sugar, spices, and lemon juice in a small bowl.
5. Spoon sugar and spice mixture over pears.
6. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until pears are soft but not mushy. While pears are baking, occasionally “baste” them with any juices that accumulate in the bottom of the baking pan.
7. Sprinkle raisins over pears. To make this dessert extra decadent, substitute chocolate, butterscotch, or peanut butter baking chips for the raisins.
8. Add almonds.
9. Swizzle a teaspoon or so of store-bought chocolate or caramel sauce over each pear half prior to plating.

This baked pear recipe also makes a delicious addition to a Sunday brunch menu.

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