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Roasted Pears with Amaretti Cookies

That natural sweetness of roasted pears is enhanced by crumbled almond cookies and a dollop of mascarpone -- a rich Italian cream cheese. For a substitute, combine 1/2 cup room-temperature regular cream cheese with a tablespoon or two of whole milk.

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Source: Everyday Food, October 2007

Ingredients

  • 4 firm, ripe Bartlett pears (red or green), unpeeled, halved lengthwise and cored
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 8 amaretti cookies (Italian almond macaroons)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, toss pears with lemon, sugar, and a pinch of salt; arrange pears in dish, cut side down. Add 1/4 cup water; cover dish tightly with aluminum foil, and bake until pears are easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 25 to 30 minutes.

  2. Place each pear half, cut side up, on a platter, and top with 1 tablespoon of mascarpone and 1 crumbled cookie. Drizzle with juices from baking dish, and serve.

Cook's Notes

For a fresh-picked look, try to leave stems intact as you halve each pear lengthwise. Then use a melon baller or a small spoon to scoop out the core.

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