If you want to get fancy, you can top the pears with ice cream, Devon cream, crème fraîche or mascarpone, but plain old heavy cream is awfully good, and has the virtue of simplicity. A scattering of toasted almonds would also be welcome.
Tip:A melon baller does a neat job of coring pears. Or use the smallest paring knife you have (I use a 2-1/2-inch blade), cutting with only the tip of the blade.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Peel, halve, and core the pears. Smear the butter over the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish or small roasting pan. Set the pear halves cut side down in the dish.
Drizzle 1 tsp. of honey over each pear half. Pour in the sweet wine. Roast for 40 min. Remove the dish from the oven and, using pot holders, tilt the dish so the juices pool in one corner. With a spoon, baste each pear with some of the juices. Continue to roast until the juices cook down to a glazy consistency and the pears are very tender and take on a light toasted color, another 15 to 20 min. Lift up the cut side of a pear; it should look nicely caramelized. Turn off the oven and leave the pears in the oven to keep warm until serving time (the liquid will continue to thicken and the pears will brown a bit more).
If the juices have completely evaporated at serving time, add a Tbs. or two of hot water to the pan and swirl to recreate a syrupy glaze. Drizzle the glaze over each pear. Serve warm and pass a pitcher of heavy cream to pour over. Leftovers are good eaten at room temperature or warmed gently.
nutrition information (per serving):
based on four servings, Calories
10, Fat Calories
90, Saturated Fat
1, Monounsaturated Fat
42, Polyunsaturated Fat
Photo: Scott Phillips