Bay-roasted pears with grappa and almond crema

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 6 people

  • 2 sprigs fresh bay leaves
  • 6 small, firm pears such as corella, halved, cores removed with a melon-baller
  • 6 small lemons
  • 150 gm caster sugar
  • 100 gm unsalted butter, coarsely chopped
  • 75 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 150 ml grappa
  •  
  • Almond crema
  • 150 gm blanched almonds
  • 60 gm caster sugar
  • 300 ml pouring cream
  • 125 ml milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 40 ml amaretto
01   For almond crema, preheat oven to 180C. Roast almonds on a baking tray until golden (4-5 minutes), cool and process with sugar in a food processor until finely ground, then transfer to a heatproof bowl. Bring cream and 80ml milk to the boil in a saucepan, pour over almond mixture, stir to combine and infuse for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly whisk yolks, add amaretto, then add cream mixture and remaining milk. Transfer to a saucepan and stir continuously over low-medium heat until mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon thickly (8-10 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl placed over ice and cool, then refrigerate until chilled (1-2 hours). Makes about 400ml.
02   Preheat oven to 140C. Place bay leaves in the base of a roasting tray large enough to fit pears snugly, then top with pears, cut-side up. Squeeze over a little lemon juice to stop pears from going brown. Remove peel of 3 lemons with a vegetable peeler and scatter lemon peel around pears. Scatter pears with sugar, then dot over butter, making sure some butter is in the core of each pear. Squeeze over lemon juice, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 40 minutes. Baste pears with pan juices, add grappa and bake until tender (40 minutes). Increase oven to 160C, baste pears and roast until caramelised (15-20 minutes). Serve immediately drizzled with pan juices and almond crema.

Recipe:

NICKY RIEMER, MELBOURNE WINE ROOM

Photography:

CHRIS CHEN

Styling:

GERALDINE MUNOZ AND EMMA KNOWLES

Drinking Suggestion:

SWEET WHITE PASSITO DESSERT WINE. , suggested by MAX ALLEN

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