Use whatever fruit at the farmers market is at its peak. In the summer, D.C. cook Deborah Thawley likes to use peaches, nectarines, plums or figs. In the fall she uses pears and apples, often adding blueberries or blackberries in the last 10 minutes of oven time. And she sometimes adds thin slices of lemon or orange peel, dried fruit, for another flavor.
Two tablespoons of whisky can be used instead of the sugar and lime or lemon juice.
This dish is best served right after it is made.
- Juice of 1 lime or lemon (2 to 3 teaspoons)
- 2 medium apples, cut in half and cored
- 2 medium pears, firm and well-flavored
- 1 tablespoon sugar, preferably vanilla sugar (see NOTE)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkle the juice in the bottom of a medium gratin or baking dish.
Place the pears and apples cut side down in the gratin or baking dish. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the top of the fruit. Roast for about 45 minutes, until the skin of the fruit is well browned and slightly puffed. Serve warm.
NOTE: To make sugar with a vanilla perfume, submerge a vanilla bean in a tightly closed container of sugar for at least a week before using.
From Georgetown resident Deborah Thawley.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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