Winter Fruit

Baked pears with spices and chocolate


An elegant yet simple pudding, lightly spiced baked pears with melted chocolate is a classic combination not to mention a great way to use English pears in season.  The chocolate is gently grated over the baked pears at the end, rather than blanketing the delicate, sweet fruit.

Serves 6.

This recipe is taken from my first cookbookIn One Pot: Fresh Recipes for Every Occasion, W&N, 2013.

Photo courtesy of Simon Wheeler.


  • 6 pears, peeled
  • 100ml marsala
  • 4 tbsp, soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 70g good-quality dark chocolate
  • crème fraîche


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F /Gas 5.
  • Cut the bottom off each pear and place upright un a shallow ovenproof dish.  Pour over the marsala and sprinkle over the brown sugar and cinnamon.  Cut the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape the seeds into the dish along with the empty pod.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the pears are soft.  (You can check this by inserting a knife or skewer to see if it feels no resistance.)
  • Remove the pears from the oven and spoon over the syrup that has collected at the bottom.  While the pears are still hot, grate over the chocolate so that it melts down the sides of the pear and slips into the sauce.
  • Serve the pears with the chocolate syrup poured over, and a dollop of crème fraîche if you like.


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