Stephanie Alexander's Pears Baked as in Savoy
Serves 4 – Recipe sourced from Stephanie Alexander – The Cook's Companion
"This magnificent dessert, inspired by the Savoy region in France, is an exercise in simplicity: pears, butter, sugar, vanilla and nothing else" Stephanie Alexander
8 tablespoons castor sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and broken into pieces
2 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons thick cream
Preheat over to 160˚C. Choose an ovenproof dish in which the halved pears will fit well with no extra space. Butter dish well and peel, halve and core pears. Place pear halves in dish, hollow-side uppermost. Scatter castor sugar over (1 tablespoon per pear half), then dot with butter. Place vanilla bean pieces in dish, then pour in water. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake for at least 1 ½ hours. When pears are tender and smell superb, remove foil and spoon 1 teaspoon thick cream into each pear hollow. Increase oven temperature to 200˚C. Return dish, uncovered, to hotter oven for 15 minutes until cream has melted and mingled with buttery juices. Allow to cool a little before serving.
Serve with a glass of Pfeiffer Late Harvest Muscadelle.