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Baked Pears with Olive Oil Custard Sauce - Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil
Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Baked Pears with Olive Oil Custard Sauce

Baked Pears with Olive Oil Custard Sauce

Separately, roasted pears and rich vanilla custard are delicious. Together, they’re simply sublime. This dish can be served warm, with the pears just out of the oven and the custard right off the stovetop, or both can be chilled and served cold—the sauce will get thicker in the fridge.

Ingredients

For the pears:

  • 4 pears, such as Anjou, Bosc, or Concorde, ripe but still firm
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the baking dish
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup water

For the custard sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk 
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or paste
  • 1/3 teaspoon almond extract

Directions

Step 1

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Halve the pears and use a small spoon to scoop out the seeds; there’s no need to peel them. Lightly coat a baking dish large enough to hold the pear halves with the olive oil. Place the pears cut side down in the baking dish and drizzle them with the 2 tablespoons olive oil, then sprinkle on the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour the water into the baking dish and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the pears cut side up, carefully spooning the juices from the bottom of the dish over them and into the cavities. Bake for another 20 minutes or until tender—check with the tip of a knife (if they start to brown before they’re done, cover the dish with foil). 

Step 2

While the pears are baking, make the custard. In a heat-safe bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Add the yolks and the whole eggs and whisk until the mixture is light yellow and slightly thick.

Step 3

Place the milk in a saucepan and scald it—it should start to form a light skin but not come to a rapid boil. Vigorously whisk 1/4 cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture, and then slowly whisk in the rest. Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Let it boil for 60 seconds until it thickens enough to coat a spoon (it should be the consistency of a cream soup). Remove from the heat. (If it looks at all lumpy, put it through a strainer.) Whisk in the olive oil and the extracts. Transfer to a 2-cup pitcher for pouring over the pears. Note: If you want to chill the sauce, press a small round of parchment paper over the surface to prevent a skin from forming as it cools down.

Step 4

To serve, plate two pear halves on each of four dishes and pour on generous amounts of the sauce and the juices from the baking pan.

Yields 4 servings