Oven Roasted Pears or Quinces
• 80 grams butter, chopped
• 6 pears or 3 quinces
• 150 grams castor sugar
• Juice of 2 lemons
• 6 lemon verbena leaves (or a vanilla bean, scented geranium leaf, citrus peel, cardamom pods, a cinnamon stick or a star anise)
• Honey-flavoured yoghurt or double cream, to serve
What to do:
Preheat oven to 150°C. Melt butter in a 1.5 litre-capacity baking dish.
Peel pears, halve lengthways, remove cores with a twist of a parisienne spoon and roll in melted butter. Wash and peel quinces, halve lengthways and remove cores if you wish (they are quite edible after 3 hours cooking). Roll in melted butter. Turn fruit so it is cut-side down in baking dish and scatter with sugar. Drizzle over lemon juice and add lemon verbena leaves or other flavouring. Cover tightly with a doubled sheet of foil and roast for 2 hours.
Turn fruit and baste with syrupy pan juices. The pears may be tender at this time and can be lifted onto a plate. Re-cover and bake quinces for another hour; they are ready when tender and highly glazed. Serve fruit with honey-flavoured yoghurt or double cream.
This recipe is from Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion (Penguin Lantern 2009).