Hazelnut Baked Pears

A ripe pear is a beautiful thing.  You can’t really improve on the experience of just eating the luscious thing with a napkin handy.  We all know that.

But sometimes, maybe once a year, you might want to try something different.  I’m not saying better, although I truly love this recipe–but different.  I try to reserve a few perfect pears each year to bake, always stuffed with this sweet hazelnut butter.

The recipe comes from Deborah Madison’s Seasonal Fruit Desserts, not to be confused with Rustic Fruit Desserts, which I was lauding last week when I made my favorite Rhubarb Cake with Crystallized Ginger.  (And I also have the fruit-heavy Chez Panisse Desserts book.  This may be an unreasonable collection given that, in the end, my heart belongs to chocolate.  But I digress.)  I never have the hazelnut oil that the recipe calls for so I used walnut oil this time, and I didn’t have Frangelico so I used water.  And even so, they were perfect: sweet and nutty, soft and crunchy, maybe even as good as a ripe pear alone.

One word of warning: wait for your pears to ripen before you bake them.  They will be so much better.  And this recipe is not the place to jettison your overripe pears, either; when your pears are past their prime, make this insteadHazelnut Baked Pears:  In a food processor, grind 3/4 c. toasted hazelnuts with 5 Tb. brown sugar or maple syrup and 1/8 tsp. salt until gritty.  Add 1 1/2 Tb. soft butter and 1 1/2 Tb. hazelnut oil and pulse until a sticky mixture forms.  Scoop into four halved and cored pears, and bake them in a dish with a splash of Frangelico or sweet wine or water at 350 for about 25 minutes, until the fruit is nice and soft.  If there is liquid in the bottom of the pan, spoon it over the pears as you serve them.

26 thoughts on “Hazelnut Baked Pears

  1. Somer

    I have been looking for hazelnuts at 7, that’s right SEVEN stores over the last week. Must be a hazelnut shortage around here. Seriously jealous! Those look beautiful!

    1. emmycooks Post author

      That’s crazy! I hope you come across some soon–or decide to settle for another nut. :) I love walnuts, almonds, cashews, so many!

    1. emmycooks Post author

      I do like that–so that when I find one I like I can use it all summer long. Hazelnuts in pears! Almonds in peaches or apricots! Cashews in…dunno. :)

  2. debbrunson

    Agree that I’m a chocolate girl when push comes to shove, but fruit runs a darn close second. And hazelnut anything always captures my attention. This may be more than once a year for me :) Thank you for posting!

    1. emmycooks Post author

      I don’t often bake with hazelnuts, but I should! They get so toasty and crunchy. I feel like I might need to test out some hazelnut biscotti recipes soon!

    1. emmycooks Post author

      I buy my hazelnuts from a local farm that sells them at the farmers market, and they sell hazelnut oil as well. But I have seen it at the grocery store with the other fancy oils (like walnut oil). A frugal alternative, though, would be to just skip it, or use whatever you have! You could double the butter (not you, vegansparkles!) or use a neutral oil, or maybe coconut oil would be good. :)

  3. shuhan

    That is SUCH a good idea, I don’t know why it never occured to me to stuff pears. I’ve baked them before though, though I must say I really do think a pear that’s perfectly ripe is really almost too perfect to mess with, sweet juicy and succulent mmmm.


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