The Most Delicious Way to Eat Fruit This Winter

by Lidia Bastianich
Tuesday, Dec 27, 2016



Like New Englanders in January, winter fruits are at their best after they've warmed up a little. (Photo: Fortunato Nicotra)

There's an alchemy that occurs when roasting fruit.  It becomes both sweeter and more savory as the flavors meld and concentrate in the oven; mid-winter's answer to a ripe September peach eaten over the sink. 

Here, Lidia Bastianich lets pears and grapes soften in a bath of Moscato wine and sugar, the sweetness tempered with tangy apricot jam, heady vanilla and a little lemon. So good.

Spoon the reduced juices over the fruit and serve with a scoop of the best vanilla gelato or ice cream you can get your hands on.  And of course, a glass of that Moscato. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups seedless red grapes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Juice of 2 lemons, freshly squeezed
  • 2/3 cup Moscato
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 3 firm but ripe Bosc pears, halved and cored


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the grapes in a baking dish. Combine the sugar, lemon juice, Moscato, vanilla bean, and apricot jam in a bowl, and stir until blended. Pour this over the grapes. Nestle the pear halves, cut side up, into the grapes.

Bake until the pears are tender and the liquid around the grapes is thick and syrupy, about 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the pears, and let them stand for about 10 minutes. Discard the vanilla pod. Serve them with some of the grapes and their liquid spooned around them.

Variation:

Pears and grapes are a great marriage of flavors, but I also like this preparation with quince and fresh cranberries. To try this, cut the peeled and cored quince in quarters (they take longer to bake than the pears), and substitute fresh cranberries for the grapes. It will take more sugar since cranberries are not as sweet as grapes.

Recipe provided by Lidia Bastianich.

About the Author

Lidia Matticchio Bastianich was born in Pola, Istria, on the northeastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. She is a cookbook author, restaurateur, and TV chef extraordinaire.

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