This post was created in partnership with Smiley Honey.
Roasting pears is the easy road to a sophisticated dessert. You let the heat of the oven do the work of softening their flesh to a silky, melt-in-your-mouth consistency while tending to other things (perhaps making something creamy to serve the pears with). More specifically, honey-roasting with various spices will always be a winning technique, especially when you use a high-quality honey like the wild thyme blossom honey from Smiley Honey I used here. The honey melts under heat and envelops whatever you are roasting with its soothing, complex sweetness, contributing to those crispy, caramelized edges we all love so much. Serve the warm pears with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or take it one step further and make a nutritious cashew vanilla cream.
This is not your ordinary cashew cream, as it’s made lighter with the addition of one of the roasted pears. When whipped up, the pear contributes an airiness to the cream, making it less dense and adding interest to the flavor. There is also a studding of ground chia, for its gelling abilities and amazing nutrition. The cream pairs perfectly with the jammy pears, and the garnish of pomegranate seeds, though optional, adds to that festive look and flavor. The whole thing is easy and quick to whip up, so if you are still looking for a dessert to serve this Thursday and like pears and cream, this might just be the one.
Smiley Honey is a raw honey company offering a fine collection of uniquely flavored honeys from around the world, from Spain to Romania, Italy to a number of states in the US. They sent me some samples of their honey, and I was impressed by how distinctly different each of them tasted. There is a tendency to think that honey is honey and that’s that, but there is a world flavor in each kind, depending, of course, on the blossoms the bees forage the nectar from, among other factors. The Smiley Honey shop has a thoughtful flavor profile description for each kind of honey they sell – it almost feels like choosing a wine, and rightly so. I chose to go with the thyme honey from Spain for this dessert – it has a boldness of flavor, along with savory and earthy notes, is very aromatic and absolutely delicious. Other flavors that caught my eye are sage, tulepo, sourwood and acacia. All Smiley Honey is raw, which means it’s rich in health benefits and will help boost your immune system. Together with Smiley Honey, we think that a jar from them would make for a perfect gift or treat to yourself during this time of year.
If you’d like to try it out, use code Golubka at checkout in their store to get 10% off any of the honeys.
Lastly, it’s the time to give thanks in these parts, so thank you for cooking from this page throughout the years. Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to all those in the U.S. and a peaceful rest of the week to those elsewhere :)
Our Holiday Menu so far –
M A I N
S I D E
S O U P
D E S S E R T
D R I N K
- neutral coconut oil - for oiling the baking dish
- 5 ripe pears - cut in half and cored
- ¼ cup filtered water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5-7 cardamom pods - green shells removed, coarsely crushed in a mortar and pestle
- 3-5 whole cloves
- 1-2 star anise (optional)
- freshly squeezed juice of ½ lemon
- honey - to taste
- 1½ cups cashews - preferably soaked for 2 hours
- ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk - preferably homemade
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1½ tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 roasted pear - from above
- ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons neutral unrefined coconut oil - melted
- more honey to drizzle
- crushed pistachios (optional)
- pomegranate kernels (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C).
- Lightly oil the baking dish with coconut oil. Arrange pears inside the dish cut side down. Pour water over the bottom of the dish and place spices in between pear halves. Drizzle with lemon juice and honey. Bake for 40-45 minutes, basting the pears with the liquid every now and then, until soft throughout. Let cool.
- Drain and rinse cashews. Combine with almond milk, honey, chia seeds, vanilla extract and roasted pear in an upright blender, blend until smooth. Drizzle in the coconut oil with the motor still running and blend to incorporate. If using a regular blender (not a high-speed one such as Vitamix or Blendtec), optionally strain the cream through a fine-mesh sieve for a silky-smooth consistency. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours or overnight, letting the cream set.
- To serve, whisk cream to fluff it up. Distribute between bowls, top with 1-2 pear halves, drizzle with honey, garnish with crushed pistachios and pomegranate kernels and enjoy.
This post was created in partnership with Smiley Honey, with all opinions being genuine and our own. Thank you for considering the sponsors that help keep Golubka Kitchen going.