Last year David Pogue (@Pogue), New York Times columnist, challenged his Twitter followers: “share your favorite recipe in 140 characters.” Since he usually posted his challenges after I went to bed, I missed out on the contest. Still, I tweeted this simple recipe a few days later. Within minutes I had several tweets back saying how delicious it sounded.
It is delicious and it’s very, very easy.
I love pears and try to buy them in season. Unfortunately in Minnesota, they rarely ripen indoors during the winter months. What would turn golden yellow in a few September days remains rock-hard in January for weeks. This recipe is my solution for what to do with unripe, green pears. In fifteen minutes, start-to-finish, you will have a fragrant and amazing dessert.
- 4-6 hard pears. Any kind will do. Just make sure they are not soft.
- 2 TB real brown sugar. Okay, I’m a food snob, but there is a flavor improvement when you use genuine brown sugar instead of the white kind that’s sprayed with molasses.
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg. Less is more with nutmeg, believe me.
- 1/4 cup rum. I use Whaler’s Vanille rum. The stuff is very fragrant. Hard to find, but if you can’t, any will do.
- Peel and core the pears. Cut into quarters. Add to microwave-proof bowl.
- Sprinkle with nutmeg and brown sugar.
- Add rum.
- Cover the bowl and cook in your microwave on HIGH for three minutes.
- Cook for another three minutes on HIGH.
- Test with a fork to see if the pears are soft. You may have to cook a few seconds longer depending on the kind of pear you are using. (Bosc pears are nearly wooden and take longer to cook.)
Don’t add water to the pears before you cook them; the pears will release a lot of liquid. This is a marvelous sauce.
You can also do this with apples, but the result will taste different. I prefer pears because they have a subtle, aromatic flavor apples lack.
You can serve these pears as a warm dessert. Chilled, they make a great topping for vanilla ice cream. I also eat them for breakfast with unsweetened yogurt.