Fruit on Fruit: Baked Pears and Spicy Plums
19 Sep 2006
I have a friend who has issues with meat on meat. She just thinks that combining any two kinds of meat into a dish is simply disgusting. I had never heard of the meat on meat issue before, but apparently it's a thing. So, when I made this quick little dessert, topping pears with plums, I couldn't help but wonder if I was going to be putting anyone off with fruit on fruit! Maybe the creaminess of a pear shouldn't be mixed up with the zing of a plum? Does one pollute the other?
Personally, I don't think so. What is more likely is that some might find the combination of spicy red pepper flakes and plums in this recipe a bit unusual. Each bite is sweet and warm initially, with a sharp bite of heat as you swallow. I love the combination of hot and sweet almost as much as I love hot and salty, but it does take some getting used to. If you aren't a fan, this dessert is still delicious without the pepper flakes.
Baked Pears with Spicy Plums
Ingredients are per pear, which makes 2 servings
1 t grated orange rind (fresh or dried)
1 1/2 t cane sugar
1 t lavendar
1 t butter, room temperature
Remove the stones from the plums, and chop coarsely. In a small bowl, combine the plums, 1/2 t of the sugar, and a good pinch of chili flakes. Cover and let sit for about 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375F.
In another small bowl, mix up the remaining sugar, the orange zest and the lavendar. Set aside.
Slice the pear in half and remove the core with a spoon, leaving just the stem (as you can see, I removed the stems in mine, but I think they look nicer with stems intact). Place the pear on a parchment lined baking sheet, cut side up. Spoon half of the plum mixture into each side of the pear. Sprinkle with the sugar mixture. Dot with the butter.
Bake until the pear becomes soft and just starts to brown along the edges, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand for at least 5 minutes before serving. Top with a bit of sweetened whip cream or ice cream if desired.
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Lara Ferroni is a former tech geek turned food geek who spends her days exploring the food culture of the Pacific Northwest. As a food writer and photographer, you might spy her learning to make kim chee in the back rooms of a local church, foraging for wild berries, or snapping away in the some of the Seattle and Portland's finest kitchens. You can find her work in publications such as Epicurious.com, Gourmet.com, Edible Communities (Seattle, San Francisco), Seattle Magazine, Seattle Metropolitan as well as numerous cookbooks, including Doughnuts: Simple and Delicious Recipes to Make at Home.