Pumpkin Spice Baked Pears

A recipe from one of Foodie Underground’s favorite locavores: Paris Paysanne

As we settle into the season, autumn brings with it cosy days and sweater weather. It’s a perfect time to welcome loved ones in from the cold and spend an evening over restorative drinks and a warm meal. As a Californian who catches cold easily, I lean towards a hermit-like lifestyle during these brisk days, happy to have friends come over and share news from the chilly outside world as we enjoy dinner and a bottle (or three) of wine.

One of the few things that will get me out of the house on a crisp morning is a good market. The colorful arrangements of seasonal gourds brighten up any grey day and the descriptions of each squash, given in detail by the farmer themselves, make me want to grab one of every size and shape.

As much as I enjoy exploring the stands of my local market, when the temperatures are particularly frosty I’m a big fan of one-stop shopping. Being able to source my dinner and dessert from the same farmer and then quickly getting back to my toasty home makes me a very happy shopper. Even more so when dessert consists of these simple and delicious Pumpkin Spice Baked Pears.

These baked pears are my way of saying thank you to friends who come over for dinner from near and far, adding a little sunshine to my days and enabling my early-onset hibernation. Perfect after a seasonal mushroom risotto, hearty stuffed acorn squash, or a steaming bowl of soup, these baked pears round out a simple meal that can be almost completely sourced from your local farmer.

Assuming you’ve got sugar and spice at home already, all you need to do is pick up pears and pumpkins while shopping for seasonal vegetables at the market and you’ve got an amazing, autumnal meal.

Making your own pumpkin purée is not obligatory, but much advised as you can use any leftover purée in a number of incarnations, including Pumpkin Chocolate Bars or even a homemade face mask.

If using homemade purée, you may have chunks of pumpkin that you can either strain out of the syrup before storing or keep because pumpkin you love pumpkin and can’t get enough of it.

Pumpkin Spiced Baked Pears

Pumpkin Spice Syrup:

1/2 cup pumpkin purée

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup water

2 teaspoons allspice

Stir the sugar into the water until it dissolves and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and stir in the pumpkin purée and all pice. Simmer and continue to stir until the ingredients are combined, another 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool and transfer to an air tight container. Store in fridge for up to week.

Baked Pears:

1/2 to 1 cup Pumpkin Spice Syrup

2 pears

Preheat the oven to 355°F/180°C. Cut the pears in half and then along the sides, keeping everything but the core. Place in a baking dish, flesh side down. Cover the pears with 1/2 cup pumpkin spice syrup (you may need to shake the syrup up first if pulp has settled while in fridge). Bake for 25 to 30 mins, or until skin is tight and flesh is tender. Remove from heat and serve in two bowls, splitting the syrup from the pan evenly between the two. Add more syrup as necessary. Serve hot.

Emily is the founder of Paris Paysanne, a blog devoted to exploring the markets of Paris and the terroir of France. 

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