Traditional recipes

Roasted Pears with Ricotta and Honey

Roasted Pears with Ricotta and Honey


  • 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
  • 5 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided
  • 1/4 cup Grade B maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

Recipe Preparation

  • Place ricotta in cheesecloth-lined strainer set over medium bowl. Fold cheesecloth over; drain overnight in refrigerator.

  • Puree drained ricotta, 1 tablespoon sugar, vanilla, and lemon peel in processor until smooth. Transfer ricotta mixture to small bowl. Cover and chill. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

  • Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in small skillet. Add almonds; toss until golden, about 3 minutes. Add maple syrup and sprinkle with salt. Stir until coated and slightly darker brown, about 1 minute. Spoon mixture onto prepared baking sheet. Separate nuts. DO AHEAD Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line another rimmed baking sheet with foil. Grind fennel seeds in mortar or spice grinder. Transfer to small bowl. Stir in remaining 4 tablespoons sugar. Cut pears in half; using melon baller, scoop out core. Transfer pears, cut side up, to prepared baking sheet. Press remaining 3 tablespoons butter onto cut side of pears. Mound fennel sugar over, dividing equally.

  • Roast pears until tender and juices on baking sheet begin to caramelize, spooning juices over pears every 10 minutes, about 30 minutes total.

  • Place 1 pear half on each plate and top with scoop of ricotta mixture. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with caramelized almonds. Serve warm.

Recipe by Andrew CarmelliniReviews Section

Tuesday Tastings :: Roasted Pears with Ricotta

As summer approaches, I’m more and more into the idea of serving desserts that require little-to-no cooking and just a tiny bit of assembly. Especially after preparing all the other components of a dinner party, dessert should be easy and quick… and luckily, some of the most delicious sweets also happen to be the simplest. A few of my favorites? Sorbet and macerated berries…squares of really good dark chocolate with fresh clementines…grilled (store bought) poundcake and peaches…espresso poured over vanilla gelato (affogato!) And roasted pears. They’re such a great addition to a cheese board or served over vanilla bean ice cream or on their own with a little caramel sauce. For our Moroccan-themed date night a couple weeks ago, I wanted to incorporate some of Morocco’s signature flavors like honey, orange and pine nuts, and then add a unique twist with a lightly-sweet ricotta cream. Keep reading for the recipe, and a few more lovely images by Kate LeSueur…
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Serve with steaming cups of traditional Moroccan mint tea, or add a floral note with dried rosebuds like I did.
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If you haven’t already noticed I’m a huge fan of crostini, especially for cocktail parties. It’s colorful, easy to eat and there are so many different variations. A New Years Party doesn’t require intensive recipes or large meals, but a few hors d’oeuvres will make sure your guests are able to ring in the New Year on a cheery note. Deciding your menu of small bites can be a bit challenging, and although it’s difficult to please everyone there are certain dishes that please almost every pallet. I made a Roasted Pear and Ricotta Crostini, which is pretty fab, and did I mention it pairs perfectly with a glassy of bubbly?

Crunchy toasted bread smeared with creamy ricotta cheese is the perfect match for fresh seasonal fruit. The farmers market I shop at has been filled with fresh pears lately, and I’ve been loving it. As I’ve said in my previous posts NYE is one of those nights you want those fancy drinks and food, but you also need time to get glam yourself. This might just be the easiest appetizer ever. I repeat, easy appetizers = perfect for NYE. Your guests don’t need to know this only took minutes!

Balsamic Roasted Pears with Ricotta and Honey

Roasted pears combined with balsamic vinegar and honey, then top it off with ricotta and a drizzle of honey. This creates a sophisticated and delicious dish that you’ll love!

2 T unsalted butter
3 ripe yet firm Bosc pears, halved and cored
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
6 oz. ricotta cheese (part-skim)
1 T honey, optional

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Put butter into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish and place in oven (it’s fine to do this during the preheating) to melt, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Remove baking dish from oven, and tilt the dish to coat the bottom in butter.
4. Place pears, cut side down, in the dish.
5. Bake for 20 minutes.
6. Using tongs, turn over pears, drizzle vinegar over the cut side of the pears.
7. Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until very tender.
8. Serve pears by placing individual pear halves each on a plate, with a spoonful of ricotta cheese and a drizzle of honey (optional) and the juices from the pan.

6 Servings
Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 130
Fat: 6g
Sodium: 30mg
Carbohydrates: 17g
Protein: 4g

Modified from an original recipe created by Michael Pollan.

Interested in learning how to create healthy recipes like this one? Join us each week for our Culinary Medicine classes where we explore topics related to your health and the food you eat. See our schedule of classes and find out more HERE.

Recipe: Roasted Pears with Honey, Ginger and Vanilla

While working on my Vanilla-Ginger-Pear Shrub I became so enamored of this spicy-sweet flavor combination that I couldn't stop inventing ways to bring it to the table this season. Here the ginger and vanilla show up in a naturally sweetened, honey-based caramel for roasted pears, forming an effortlessly elegant dessert.

These roasted pears are fabulous by themselves, or you could serve them as an accompaniment to gingerbread, vanilla ice cream, or just about any kind of cream like crème fraîche, mascarpone, ricotta or whipped cream. For added texture, try a crumbled gingersnap or amaretti cookie, a sprinkle of roasted almonds, or a scattering of chopped candied ginger.

Not feeling like dessert? Slices of roasted pear would even be delicious on a cheese platter or atop crostini. And for breakfast, a cubed roasted pear is heavenly on yogurt or oatmeal.

Roasted Pears with Honey, Ginger and Vanilla
Serves 6

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 firm-ripe pears, any variety
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped

Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the middle. Butter the bottom of a large baking dish.

Mix the honey, lemon juice, ginger, vanilla pod and vanilla seeds in a large bowl. Halve and core the pears (and peel them if desired) and gently toss them in the honey mixture.

Arrange the pears cut-side down in the baking dish. Pour any remaining honey mixture over the pears and tuck the vanilla pod into the baking dish.

Roast the pears for 20 minutes, then gently turn them over and spoon some of the cooking syrup on top. Continue roasting, spooning the cooking syrup over the pears once or twice, until the pears are tender and golden, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature with the cooking syrup drizzled on top.

Love and the table

Lastly, our homes are always built on the love we have for each other, all that God has given to us (never-ending gratitude), and the strength of our relationships with our friends and our families.

Our home is a place where we use that foundation of love, and we think, how can we share this with others?

There is life-giving magic that happens in a home, and for us, sharing food and our table are big parts of that.

People feel known and loved and like they’re a part of something!

And we love being a part of it all too.

Roasted Pears with Maple Ricotta Cream

I just got back from a wonderful weekend at Mixed. I was lucky enough to speak again this year, and I love this event so much. The perfect size, wonderful hosts, the coziest inn, great people, generous sponsors, and lots of learning. I had a fireplace in my room and spent some time in front of it reading. This year we were even lucky enough wake up to a dusting of snow. When I got into my car this morning to come home, it was 14 degrees. I loved being able to wear hats, scarves, and boots. As always, once I got into the car I could not wait to get home to my babies.

I made these roasted pears a few days ago and I absolutely love them. I had a really hard time taking these pictures because all I wanted to do was dive into this plate. This is the kind of food that I really want to eat. Simple, wholesome, fresh, savory, sweet, and delicious. I adore the combination of sweet and savory. One of my favorite ways to achieve this is by combining herbs and desserts. (Thanks Sargento for asking me to dive even further into this trend.) Adding thyme to these roasted pears adds a layer of earthiness and makes them perfect for breakfast or dessert. I made a simple maple ricotta cream to serve on these. We hit all of the happy spots – sweet, savory, crunchy, creamy, crisp, tart. These pears might make an appearance at Thanksgiving breakfast. Something light and beautiful before the big show.

1 lemon
1 Tablespoon butter, room temperature
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 vanilla bean
Zest of one orange
Juice of one orange
1 Tablespoon Grand Marnier (optional)
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 firm pears

1 cup Sargento Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Toasted almonds
In a small bowl mix together brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and orange zest. Slice the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds. Add them to the bowl and reserve the pod.

Squeeze the juice of the orange into the bowl. Add a good splash of Grand Marnier. Mix until combined.

Spread butter in the bottom of a 9吉 pan. Add reserved vanilla pod.

Pour the liquid into the bottom of the pan.

Slice the pears in half. Use a melon baller and take out the core.
Rub the pear halves with lemon.

Add them to the pan, slice slide up. Add the thyme sprigs.

Roast in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Baste them with the cooking liquid every few minutes. I like my pears to still be pretty firm.

Let them cool. At this point, you can cover and chill them for up to one day.

To make the ricotta cream, mix together ricotta, maple syrup, and cinnamon.


  1. To make the ricotta: Set a large fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl. Line the sieve with a dampened piece of cheesecloth. Pour both of the LACTAID® Milks into a medium stainless steel or enameled pot and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar. Let the mixture set for 5 minutes (it will separate into curds and whey).
  2. Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth-lined sieve and drain until the ricotta is nice and thick, 20 to 25 minutes. Pour off and discard the water in the bowl occasionally (for thicker ricotta, drain longer).
  3. Turn the ricotta out into a bowl and stir in the vanilla seeds. Use immediately or transfer the ricotta to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
  4. To roast the fruit: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Add the peaches, pears, and plums to a large bowl and toss with the melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Place the fruit on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until slightly soft and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Roast the hazelnuts on a second rimmed baking sheet until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board to cool, then roughly chop.
  5. Serve the ricotta alongside the roasted fruit, chopped hazelnuts, and honey for drizzling.

Step 4/7

Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with thyme and salt to taste. Roast in oven at 220°C/425°F for approx. 15 min. or until honey caramelizes and pears become fragrant. Set aside to cool slightly.