How to Roast a Perfect Pear

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In the fall, pears typically stand in the shadow of apples, but learning to roast pears could change that. 

Roasting is a simple technique that deepens the floral, perfumy flavor. Pears come out of the oven warm, juicy, and slightly caramelized. Once roasted, there are plenty of uses — the simplest of which is a warm dessert paired with a reduced apple cider sauce. 

A fall salad of baby greens or arugula with roasted pears becomes special enough for company. If a fall appetizer is needed, top crostini toasts with goat cheese, a slice of roasted pear, and a sprig of thyme. Pop one or two roasted leftover pears into your fall butternut squash soup for a wonderful balance of sweetness. However they get used, roasted pears are a fan favorite. 

It takes only one ingredient to get started: Pears. The pears should be just ripe — not too soft, not too hard. A little unripe will still work because roasting helps to soften — it just takes a little longer. Which pears work best?  Anjou pears have always been a favorite to roast. But this fall, I’ve had difficulty finding Anjou pears and tried some other varieties. Turns out many pears types work, including Bosc, Comice, and Bartlett. If you can find local pears at a farm market, give them a try. Peel the skins, which get a little tough, and scoop out the seeds with a regular spoon.

The goal of roasting is to get the cut side golden brown — a light browning or caramelization. That’s the flavorful part. Check the pears once or twice while roasting, which can take 30 to 40 minutes. If the pears are not browning, you can help by turning the temperature up 25 degrees to 400 or 425 degrees. That new heat helps brown the bottom. You can roast ahead of time and then rewarm in the oven for 5 minutes before using to reconstitute the juiciness.

Pears, like apples, are nutritionally dense. Pears are sodium free, fat-free, with potassium, calcium, and vitamin c. They are an excellent source of fiber. Much of that fiber is in the form of pectin, which has been shown to reduce cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease. Pears also contain probiotic fiber that helps promote a healthy gut by producing food for beneficial probiotic bacteria. 

If you sample the recipes below and need more, there is a whole website of recipes at usapears.com.

Roasted Pear Recipes:

Fall Baby Greens Salad with Roasted Pears

Roasted Pears with Reduced Apple Cider and Cashew Cream

Roasted Pears and Delicata Squash with Fall Greens

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Roasted pears on a baking sheet.

How to Roast a Perfect Pear


  • Author: Catherine Walthers
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 4 1x

Ingredients

Scale

  • 2 just-ripe pears, not too soft
  • Olive oil


Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a thicker rather than thinner baking sheet (the pears can burn on the thinner sheets) and line with parchment paper. Peel the pears — you can leave the stems for visual appeal. Cut in half and with a regular spoon, carefully scoop out the seeds. Rub the pear with a little olive oil on both sides and place cut side down. 

2. Roast, keeping them face down the whole time, until the pear can be easily pierced with a fork, 30 to 40 minutes. Check the pears a few times, if they are not browning, turn the heat up. If they happen to be browning too fast or too much, place the sheet try on a higher level or turn the heat down slightly.

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Catherine Walthers
Catherine Walthers
Catherine Walthers, Bluedot’s food editor, is a Martha’s Vineyard-based writer, culinary instructor, and private chef. A former journalist, she is the author of 4 cookbooks, including Kale, Glorious Kale, Soups + Sides, and Raising the Salad Bar. She wrote an environmental guidebook called A Greener Boston published by Chronicle Books in 1992. Follow her on Instagram @catherine_walthers.
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