Maple Butter Glazed Walnut Stuffed Baked Pears
Early spring makes me crazy. The gorgeous spring veggies are right around the corner - but not here yet! Winter fruits and vegetables not only have gotten somewhat tiresome, but many have actually gotten kind of icky in the stores. Of course out of season stuff is always available, but I love the good, local fresh stuff.
Red Bosc pears - or really any pears, aren't local. But they are fresh right now. I found a great stash the other day. Not quite as sweet or soft as Bartletts, they stand up really well to cooking. Of course we eat them out of hand, but I'm constantly looking for what twist I can give to a food, in order to provide as many options to my kiddos as possible.
I adore stuffing and baking apples with nuts, raisins, cranberries - all kinds of things. And I like to use fruits in savory dishes, again to expose the children to as many flavors, textures and preparations as possible. On top of that it's just flat smack delicious.
Usually firm pears will translate to apple recipes really well. This particular prep is meant to be more of a side dish than a dessert - but my children didn't realize that. It is just sweet enough with the drizzle of maple syrup to get away in either category. So this one rocked all around. The kiddos got double servings of a high quality fresh fruit, the walnuts and their beautiful omega-3 fatty acids, with a touch of the lusciousness of real maple syrup. I don't know of any health benefits of maple syrup, but the real thing sure is good for the soul, which may be just as important.
- Four large pears - I used red Bosc, but Barletts would work, they'll just be softer and sweeter
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 Tbl butter
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3 Tbl maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the walnuts. All you're doing is activating and releasing some of the walnut oil - so just put them in a dry skillet and heat them for 2-3 minutes. Don't let them burn!
- Remove the walnuts from the heat, and add the butter, cinnamon and syrup. Stir to combine and set aside.
- Wash the pears, cut them in half, and core them. The simplest way is just to use the side of a teaspoon to scoop out the core. This also creates the little spot to put the walnuts.
- Place a tsp or so of the walnuts into the center of each pear. If you have extras, divide the extra evenly among the pears - the amount doesn't really matter. Drizzle the syrup/butter over the pears.
- Bake for about 30-40 minutes. The exact amount depends on the size of the pears, the ripeness of the fruit and how soft you like them. If you insert a knife into the fruit and it goes in easily - they're done!
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