Serves 6 to 8
Warm roasted fruits over cold ice cream is my favorite dessert, and so easy to make. I use cranberries and pears here, but you can use whatever fruits are in season—apples in fall, or peaches or other stone fruits in the summer—and berries or pitted cherries could be substituted for the cranberries. Baked fruit is my go-to dessert when I am entertaining family or friends. It can be baked ahead of time, kept warm, and then served without much hassle. It is also good for those who are watching their sugar intake. Choose your jam to complement the fruits accordingly as well.
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup apricot jam
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus 3 strips of peel removed from the lemon with a vegetable peeler
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 4 firm but ripe Bosc pears, peel left on, quartered, cored
- Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the orange juice, jam, wine, sugar, lemon juice, and peel in a 9-by-13-inch ceramic or metal baking dish, and stir to combine. Split the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds into the mixture, and add the pod. Stir in the cranberries. Nestle the pears in the sauce.
Bake until the pears are tender and the liquid is thick and syrupy, about 40 minutes. Remove the baking dish from the oven, and let it stand for about 10 minutes. (If the sauce is still too liquidy, you can return the pan to the bottom part of the oven for another 5 or 10 minutes, or transfer the sauce to a skillet to reduce it on the stovetop.) Remove and discard the lemon peel and the vanilla bean. Serve it while still warm, over ice cream.