It wasn’t until relatively recently that I liked pears. I’m not really sure why I didn’t like them nor do I recall why I started eating them. What I do know is that I “betrayed” my brother-in-law, Colin S, as he is not a fan of pears and he liked that he had an ally in the family. So now he’s the only one.

This is a very easy dessert to make. Everything fits into one pan (except the walnuts) and your kitchen smells amazing. It’s like the best smelly candle you’ve ever had. The perfect combination for a chilly fall day.

I had received a bottle of Nocello (walnut and hazelnut liqueur) at an extremely fun “spirited” ladies holiday gift swap last winter that I hadn’t yet opened and this provided a great excuse to do so. Don’t have any Nocello on hand? No worries as you can substitute any nut liqueur (such as Frangelico or Amaretto) or brandy. These pears paired (pun intended) well with Weckerly’s Vanilla Bean ice cream from Philadelphia. 

I dare say that this is a recipe that even a non-pear lover may like. Worse case scenario: rosemary-honey syrup is outstanding on ice cream.

P.S. Colin recently shared this great NPR article with me about pears:  ‘The Book of Pears’: A Love Letter To A Once Pre-Eminent Fruit. Who knew that there were once 500 varieties of pears. A very interesting read. He think s that perhaps with 500 to chose from he may have discovered one he liked.

Roasted Pears with Rosemary and Honey



Roasted Pears with Rosemary and Honey
5.0 from 1 reviews
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6
  • 3 ripe-but-firm Bosc pears
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons walnut liqueur (such as Nocello)
  • 1 pint vanilla bean ice cream
  • ⅓ cup walnuts, chopped and roasted
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Halve pears lengthwise. Cut out the fibrous sections connecting the stems to the cores, scoop out the cores and trim off the stems. (Use a grapefruit spoon or melon baller and knife)
  3. Heat a Dutch oven or deep, wide sauté pan (you’ll need to cover this pan) over medium-high heat.
  4. Add honey and rosemary sprigs and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the honey is fragrant and turns a rich amber color, about 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
  5. Place the butter pieces in the pan, spacing them evenly. Using tongs, place a pear half, cut side down, on top of each piece of butter.
  6. Cover pan, transfer to the oven and cook for 15 minutes. You can add the walnuts to the oven at the same time in a small pan – roast for 3 to 5 minutes.
  7. Gently turn pears over. Baste with honey mixture and drizzle pears with walnut liqueur.
  8. Return pan, uncovered, to oven and continue to cook until pears are golden brown and tender about 10 to 15 minutes. A paring knife should easily slip through the center of a pear.
  9. Remove pan from oven and let pears cool slightly uncovered in the honey mixture, about 30 minutes.
  10. For serving: In a bowl, place a scoop of vanilla ice cream, top it with a half a pear and some walnuts and a drizzle honey syrup.
* This recipe fits perfectly in my 5-1/2 quart Le Creuset Dutch oven.
* You can make the pears a few hours in advance. Reheat briefly on top of the stove on medium-low (or in a microwave-safe bowl) so both the honey syrup and pears warm up and the butter “re-melts.”
* You may need to adjust the cooking time depending on the ripeness of your pears. This recipe is forgiving even if your pears aren’t overly ripe.
* Don’t have a walnut liqueur? Substitute any nut liqueur (such as Frangelico or Amaretto) or brandy.
* For a slightly healthier version serve over plain or vanilla Greek Yogurt instead of ice cream


Source:  Adapted from Raquel Pelzel’s Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Desserts (2008)

Share on Facebook10Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest2Share on Yummly9Email this to someone
2015-12-19T19:50:46+00:00 October 8th, 2015|Categories: Desserts|Tags: , , , , , , , , |12 Comments


  1. Dad October 9, 2015 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    As a Guinea pig for this wonderful dessert I can attest that they are delicious.


    • Nicole October 12, 2015 at 10:57 am - Reply

      Dad – Thank you for your kind words! As a Perry and Père how could you not like pears!

  2. Peggy October 10, 2015 at 10:04 am - Reply

    As a taste tester of this incredible dessert I can attest to the sensory joy in every bite!

    • Nicole October 12, 2015 at 10:58 am - Reply

      Peggy – So well said! I need you to write a guest post with that language.

  3. David October 10, 2015 at 10:54 am - Reply

    Poached pears are a favorite of ours for dessert and, I roasted them but they looked nowhere as good as yours! I want to try these if I can get pears tomorrow at the market. Mark will love them!! (And we will take Colin’s share, too!)

    • Nicole October 12, 2015 at 10:59 am - Reply

      David – Wonderful. Easy to do, tasty and not too “unhealthy” either. Colin will gladly give you his share! Hope you found some pears.

      • David October 14, 2015 at 12:21 pm - Reply

        Hi, Nicole! I found some really firm Bartlett pears at the farmers market, so I am using them to make it tonight! Very excited, and will report back.

        • Nicole October 14, 2015 at 8:38 pm - Reply

          David – Oh, sounds wonderful! I hope that your dessert was wonderful. Looking forward to an update!

          • David October 15, 2015 at 12:54 am

            Well, they were fantastic! And that is even when I made a forgot that The second roasting is uncovered! Used cognac, and it worked beautifully! Thanks, Nicole!

          • Nicole October 15, 2015 at 10:42 am

            David – Woohoo! So glad to hear it. It’s a pretty forgiving recipe which is just the kind that I love. Cognac is a great suggestion.

  4. Susie McCawley November 7, 2015 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    If I use amaretto, would you recommend almonds instead of walnuts?

    • Nicole November 9, 2015 at 8:17 am - Reply

      Susie – Yes, I’d recommend using almonds in place of walnuts for if you’re using amaretto. Enjoy sipping some of it, too!

Leave A Comment

Rate this recipe: