Rosemary Roasted Hasselback Asian Pears

Main Ingredient
Recipe Seasonality
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided 
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grapefruit juice 
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 2 Asian pears 

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Adjust a rack to just above the center of the oven. Use 1 teaspoon of the butter to grease an approximately 8 x 8 x 3-inch baking dish. Set aside. 

In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, grapefruit juice, rosemary, and vanilla. Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat. Stir to ensure all of the sugar has dissolved. Set aside. 

Peel the pears and then cut them in half, lengthwise. Use a melon baller to remove the seeds from each half, and then a paring knife to cut out any remaining stem. 

With a very sharp paring knife, cut as many slits as you can, and as thinly as you can, horizontally, into the round side of the pear halves. Do not cut through the pear! Your knife should stop about 1 inch from the bottom. 

Place the prepared pear halves, flat side down, in the greased baking dish. 

Add the syrup to the pears. Then pour the rosemary syrup over them. Do not wash the saucepan - you'll need it later. The pears should be well-coated. Use the tip of a knife to open each slit slightly to be sure the syrup goes inside. The syrup will only go about ¼ to ½ way up the sides of the pears. 

Place the pears in the preheated 400°F oven and set the timer for 15 minutes. Use a small ladle or a soup spoon, to baste the pears, again getting the syrup into the slits. The slits will become more open as they roast, and it will therefore become easier to do this. Continue to set the timer and baste every 15 minutes, until you've reached 1½ hours. Then add ¼ teaspoon of the remaining teaspoon of butter, to the top of each pear. Place them back in the oven for a few more minutes. Place them under the broiler for about 30 seconds if they are not golden on top. Watch them carefully under the broiler - you don’t want them to burn! 

Gently remove the pears with a flat-bottomed spatula, and place them on a plate. Set aside. 

Thicken remaining syrup. Pour all of the syrup from the baking dish back into the saucepan, and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat to low and simmer until it's reduced by about half and has thickened. Now strain the syrup into a small bowl or serving pitcher. 

Serve the pears warm, drizzled with a bit of the syrup. 

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