Parchment cooking is fruitful not only for savories but also for sweets. Here, applelike Asian pears,loaded with potassium, are honey-drizzled, vermouth-splashed, and star-anise-infused. Serve after dinner for a sugar-and-spice ending.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut 4 pieces of parchment paper to measure 12 square inches each. Juice lemon into a small bowl. Halve each pear horizontally. Dip cut sides of pear in lemon juice (to prevent browning). Using a melon baller, remove core from each half.

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  • Place 1 star anise in cored center of each pear. Drizzle 1 tablespoon honey over each star anise.

  • Place a pear half, cut side up, on each piece of paper. Working with one piece at a time, hold pear half in paper in the palm of your hand; gather edges of paper around fruit with your free hand. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.

  • Pour 1 tablespoon vermouth into pear half in parchment. Twist paper tightly around top of each fruit to seal. Bake 45 minutes; pears should be tender. Transfer packets to shallow bowls. Serve immediately, opening packets at the table.

Cook's Notes

This recipe is versatile. You can use any firm-flesh pears orapples -- or a combination; just be sure the size of the fruitsyou use is uniform. You can also try another dry whole spice(such as cinnamon or cloves) in place of the star anise.

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