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Vanilla Roasted Pears is the perfect fall dessert; roasting brings out their natural sweetness, and you’ll end up with a lovely vanilla-scented pear caramel sauce in the bottom of the pan that you can drizzle on top of the fruit when serving.

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Pears, although beloved in my house, are one of the most underused fruits. When fall rolls around I usually gravitate toward fruits like apples and grapes, but the truth is, every time I eat a pear I think wow, this is delicious…I should really start buying pears more often. And yet, without fail, the next time I’m at the grocery store or farmers’ market, I seem to find myself lured in by the other fruit.

Not this time, my friends. I bought a huge, beautiful basket of pears and I’ve been enjoying them for days. Since I seemed to barely even make a dent in the basket despite my latest pear-a-day-obsession, I thought I’d look for a way to use up a few more, which is how I stumbled upon this lovely recipe. I found it on Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from Sally Schneider at The Atlantic. Like all recipes endorsed by Deb, this one was incredible. That syrupy pear caramel that she speaks of is magic.

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And since it’s gorgeous, festive, and celebratory, this dessert was very timely, as a celebration was in order.

For what, you ask?

Alright, my lovelies. Remember the Middle Eastern cookbook I told you I was working on? After what literally feels like years of working on it — eating, drinking, breathing, and dreaming Middle Eastern food — I’m done. I submitted my entire manuscript (photos and all) and I cannot say how good it feels…I’m still kind-of pinching myself actually. The book is being published by Tuttle Publishing and is expected to be out in fall 2012, but I will keep you updated.

I know a lot of you out there (bloggers or otherwise) might be interested to know how my book came about…or how I got a publisher…or maybe even about how to write a book proposal. Which is why I was thinking of writing a couple posts on my experience. Please feel free to let me know any of your thoughts/comments/questions on this; I will be sure to answer any questions I can, and if I can’t answer your question myself, I will try to find someone who can.

And finally, to the many friends/family members (you know who you are!) who I repeatedly invited over for lunch and/or dinner this summer and invariably served Middle Eastern food to every single time…thank you for being such willing recipe testers! Mike and I are only two people and I had a lot of cooking to do…and there’s only so much we can distribute to our neighbors and Mike’s co-workers. Which of course explains the doggie bags of Middle Eastern food I sent you home with time and time again, lol.

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Vanilla Roasted Pears
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Vanilla Roasted Pears is the perfect fall dessert; roasting brings out their natural sweetness, and you'll end up with a lovely vanilla-scented pear caramel sauce in the bottom of the pan that you can drizzle on top of the fruit when serving.
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ½ of a vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and seeds scraped out
  • 6 medium (about 2 lb) pears, any kind you like (I used Bartlett)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Combine the sugars and vanilla seeds in a small bowl and set aside; reserve the vanilla pod.
  2. Peel the pears (if desired), then cut them in half, scoop out round part of the core with a melon baller, and use a paring knife to cut out the rest of the core (leaving the stem intact, if desired). Arrange the pears cut side up in a roasting pan.
  3. Drizzle the lemon juice on top, then sprinkle on the sugar and dot the tops with butter. Pour the water into the bottom of the pan and nestle the vanilla pod into the dish.
  4. Roast until the pears are tender and caramelized (a paring knife inserted into the center should slide right out), and the sauce is slightly thickened, about 35 to 55 minutes (depending on how ripe your pears are). While cooking, flip the pears once halfway through and occasionally spoon some of the juices from the bottom of the pan onto the pears.
  5. Pour the pan juices into a small pitcher and serve alongside the pears to drizzle on top.
Recipe adapted from Deb's recipe on Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from Sally Schneider's recipe on The Atlantic.

If you have leftover pears, I highly recommend making this Apple-Pear Crumb Cake!

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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  1. So exciting for you,congrats on submitting your cookbook. Well I want to know everything…I mean everything lol..about it. Can,t wait to see it published in 2012! And you are so right about pears…gorgeous yummy and always walk buy them. Got to buy some now.

  2. Woohoo! That is exciting! I’m looking forward to hearing more about how you went about doing it. Those pears are positively gorgeous. Beautiful recipe.

  3. Congratulations Faith, such a wonderful accomplishment- you are one of my heroes;-) I love this simple poached pear recipes and the photos are gorgeous!

  4. congratulations Faith, that’s a great news, sooooo exciting! you are a great chef so you totally deserve the reward! can’t wait to hear mre about it.

  5. Congratulations Faith! I’m so excited for you! And your pears are lovely – they are definitely one of the most under utilized fruits.

  6. happy I feel for you, Faith! Wish I could be near to give a big hug to you. Waiting for the book release..will surely grab a copy soon. Best wishes. What a flavorful recipe to celebrate your big day.

  7. A huge congrats on finishing the book. That is such a major undertaking. You must be so elated that it’s done. Can’t wait to see it all in print! ;)

  8. Congratulations on your book! I would have loved to have been your neighbor when you were testing your recipes. :) These pears are just gorgeous- beautifully elegant. I love cooked pears and the thought of these in that lovely sauce has me wishing I had some. :)

  9. That vanilla roasted pears looks so delicious! I love to eat it while it’s warm with a scope of ice cream! Congrats on your cook book. I am excited for you!

  10. Faith. congratulations on your book…I am very happy for you :-)
    The pear dessert looks fabulous, so elegant…will have to try this out, since there are lots of pears in the market.
    Hope you have a wonderful week and again, congratulations!

  11. The is so exciting! Congratulations, Faith.

    What a lovely pear dessert without a ton of calories!

  12. Congratulations on your book! I’m really looking forward to seeing the book and reading your posts on your experience, I’m sure they’ll be fascinating. Plus the pears look beautiful and delicious!

  13. Woooooo Hooooo!!! Congratulations! Great news. And those pears look fantastic. And that plate?????? Gorgeous!

  14. AHHHHHHHHHH!Congrats on finishing it up! So awesome. This looks yummy :) My husband is a huge pear fan, so I purchase at least 4 a week in the fall/winter!

  15. Wow congratulations! That’s a food bloggers dream! I’ll be sure to order a copy online, I’m currently going on a blogger cookbook buying frenzy!

    That’s a beautiful dessert too. Strawberries are so cheap here at the moment that I pretty much haven’t eaten any other fruit for months, but I do love me some pears and cheese as a snack.

  16. Congratulations! Both on the book and a beautiful post- the photos are as gorgeous as the recipe reads.

  17. Pears are so fun. Looks delish. I love that pears take on other flavors so willingly. Thanks for sharing!

  18. CONGRATS, Faith!! Very exciting, indeed! Now I only wish my tummy liked pears….

  19. Congratulations on the book! That is very exciting news! I love middle eastern food. I’d be very interested in reading about your journey to publication. I’m hoping to write a book, and although I’m a fiction writer, I always learn a lot from how other people went about it.

  20. What wonderful and thrilling news. I’ll be your first customer :-). I do hope you share the background behind its publication with us. Have a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  21. Please write a post about your publishing experience! We’re dying to know!

  22. I am SO thrilled for you, Faith!!! I can’t wait to get your book and cook my way through it. :-)

  23. Congratulations, Faith! And I can’t wait to read about your publishing experiences.
    This pear recipe is perfect. Simple and elegant those little specs of vanilla tell the story. Beautiful food styling, too!

  24. CONGRATS!!! That’s so exciting, Faith! I can’t wait to see it! :)

  25. Hello
    I soooo want to hear how it all happened – did you approach a publisher or did they show an interest in you?
    how long it look you to get everything together? how many recipes did you decide on? how did you photograph them all and the props you bought/used?
    did you have fun or did you end up hating it?
    do tell… ALL

    oh and send a publisher my way ;)

    Betty Bake x

  26. A perfectly elegant dessert to celebrate the occasion! That is so wonderful! So that means the work on your part is over, and now it’s all up to the editors? I guess that’s my first question, what happens next? Will you have to do any more work on it or is printing the next step? I researched the process of getting published in the early 2000’s b/c I had written a book and then later wrote another in 2005. They are quite dreadful, but maybe some day I’ll pump out a good one-haha! Anyway, I’m familiar with the process, that you first have to get an agent by sending letters to the agents that take clients that write what you do, but I have no experience b/c I never took that first step. I’m curious how many rejections, if any, you got. Stephen King got so many rejections for Carrie before an agent finally bit, and I’m wondering if that was your experience. My guess is no, because you write so well I bet you drafted a perfect letter that could not be rejected. :) I’m interested in everything you share. I don’t have aspirations of doing anything other than keeping my blog as a hobby, but I’m still interested to hear your story!

  27. I know what you mean with pears! For me I guess I don’t pick up pears because I know they taste much better cooked a little (like they are here!), so I only pick them up if I intend to cook/bake with them. Raw pears are okay, but I do believe they need something to elevate them. Like vanilla :D

  28. Congratulations! I’m so excited for you. Thank you for sharing another dose of delicious. I’ve missed visiting your blog…but I’m glad to be back (and that my arm is on the mend!) I’m sending you love and blessings from Austin.

  29. I’ve had poached pears, but never roasted. Looks great! (But really, how could it not be? Smitten Kitchen, The Atlantic, and Edible Mosaic? There’s a no-fail combination!)

  30. Congratulations! You must feel amazing, and so proud!

  31. Congratulations on finishing it! I’m sure we’re all itnerested in that. What I’ve learnt, from going tyhrough teh whoel publishing process is that it’s always quite different how it happened!

  32. This looks insanely delicious, elegant, and easy to make! Can’t wait to try this!

  33. Congrats to future author! Do I perceive seeing you on TV to promote your new cookbook? :)

  34. Wow, congrats. That is awesome.

    What a lovely dessert!



  35. Wow, what exciting wonderful news sweetie. Your amazing and fantastic. I’m so impressed and proud of you. Xxx
    Love the pear dish, it’s beautiful and classic too. I always want to work with pear, but unfortunately, just don’t. You’ve inspired mre. :)

  36. We don’t have pears very often but every time we do I always think we need to have them more often! This recipe looks so good! Would it work with apples too?

    Congratulations on the final submission of your cookbook! I can’t wait to see it in print!

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