Whenever I’m hosting big holiday dinners, I’ll often make several desserts: something chocolate (you gotta have something chocolate for the chocolate lovers), something seasonal and something light, like fruit. This is a wonderful light option. The ruby colored pomegranate syrup is beautiful and festive, and baked pears are so much more enticing than a typical fruit salad. It might look like it’s begging for vanilla ice cream, but it’s plenty sweet and better without it — if anything, a dollop of honeyed Greek yogurt is nice. I like it best with cookies, especially Almond Biscotti, Walnut & Cinnamon Biscotti, Double Chocolate Biscotti or Italian Cornmeal Cookies.
Begin by peeling and coring the pears. It’s easiest to use a vegetable peeler for peeling and a melon baller for coring — plus, if you do it this way, your pears will look prettier. Leaves the stems on if possible (although they will only be on one half of each pear).
Make the pomegranate syrup by combining the pomegranate juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for one minute until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon juice, cloves and cinnamon sticks.
Arrange the pears cut side down in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
Pour the syrup over top.
Bake for about 45 minutes, basting occasionally, until the pears are easily pierced with a knife.
Meanwhile, de-seed the pomegranate if necessary (click here to see how it’s done). Place the pears in shallow bowls and spoon some of the syrup over top. Sprinkle the pomegranate arils around the pears and garnish with cinnamon sticks, if desired. Serve warm, cold or room temperature.
Baked Pears in Spiced Pomegranate Syrup
- 1-1/2 cups unsweetened pomegranate juice (such as POM Wonderful)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, from one large lemon
- 2 cinnamon sticks, plus more for serving
- 6 whole cloves
- 4 firm baking pears, such as D'Angou or Bosc, peeled and cored (see note)
- 1/2 cup pomegranate arils, from one pomegranate or ready-to-eat, for garnish
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
- In a small non-reactive sauce pan (such as stainless steel, glass, enameled or nonstick), combine the pomegranate juice and sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, then add the lemon juice, cinnamon sticks and cloves.
- Arrange the pears cut side down in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Pour the pomegranate syrup over the pears, and place the dish in the oven. Bake for about 45 minutes, basting occasionally, until the pears are tender and easily pierced with a sharp knife. If serving hot, proceed to the next step; otherwise, cover and chill until ready to serve.
- Place the pears in shallow bowls and spoon the syrup over top. Sprinkle the pomegranate arils around the pears and garnish with cinnamon sticks, if desired. Serve with fork and knife for cutting the pear, and a spoon for the syrup. (The dish may be served hot, cold or room temperature.)
- Note: Be sure to use firm, not ripe, pears. It's best to peel them with a vegetable peeler and core them with a mellon baller.
- Per serving (8 servings)
- Serving size: 1 pear half
- Calories: 161
- Fat: 0g
- Saturated fat: og
- Carbohydrates: 42g
- Sugar: 35g
- Fiber: 4g
- Protein: 1g
- Sodium: 22mg
- Cholesterol: 6mg
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