Looking for a fresh and easy recipe for pears? This Roasted Pear Compote is a deliciously simple dish that does just about everything: Serve it warm over ice cream, pancakes or your morning bowl of porridge. Or pile it high on cream cheese-slathered crispbread. Or bake it into a cake! This versatile spiced pear compote does it all.
Keep reading for step-by-step instructions for preparing this Roasted Pear Compote at home and creative ways for putting it to use in your kitchen!
Why This Recipe Works
This Roasted Pear Compote will become one of your best friends during pear seasons because:
- The pears are perfectly spiced with cardamom, vanilla and fresh ginger.
- While most compotes cook on the stove, this one is ROASTED, which means the cooking process is almost entirely hands off, leaving you free to do other things while it cooks.
- The roasting process also concentrates the flavor of the pears giving you an EXTRA delicious final result.
- It's the perfect answer to, "what do I do with all these pears that are ripe and ready to eat!?" This is how you extend their life and enjoy them for weeks to come.
This ingredient list for this compote is short and sweet, but there are a few items worth noting:
- Bartlett Pears. Ripe Bartlett pears are my first choice here as they are juicy and have a silky flesh that softens nicely during the roasting process. Other types of pears can be a little dry and grainy in texture when roasted in the oven.
- Honey. Honey and pears were meant to go together. This recipe calls for a mere 2 tablespoons and isn't overly sweet. If you would like your compote a little more on the sweet side, feel free to add an extra squeeze or two.
- Vanilla Bean. Fresh vanilla bean is so delicate and fragrant in this recipe, and the little flecks of the vanilla paste are visually appealing in the final result. That said, feel free to substitute ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract for the vanilla bean if necessary.
- Fresh ginger. Fresh ginger brings a welcome spicy sweetness to the recipe. I would not recommend substituting powdered ginger for the fresh.
- Cardamom. Cardamom is the darling spice of the Nordic baking world and is a perfect companion to the ginger and vanilla bean. You can either use ground cardamom or buy the whole pods and grind them yourself. Not sure how to work with whole cardamom pods? This video will show you how.
- Salt. A little salt is an important ingredient in sweet recipes as it helps to highlight the sweetness and bring it into balance.
- Lemon Juice. Finishing the compote with a little acidity (in this case, lemon juice) heightens all of the flavors in the compote and gives it that little pleasing zing that will keep you coming back for more.
How to Make this Recipe
Making Roasted Pear Compote at home couldn't be easier:
- Peel, core and cut the pears into chunks and place them in a square baking dish.
- Remove the vanilla bean paste from the inside of the vanilla bean by slicing it open lengthwise and then running the dull side of the knife over the interior of the bean. SAVE THE BEAN ITSELF and add it to the dish with the pears along with the vanilla bean paste.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the pears and the vanilla.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and give it a stir. Bake for another 25-30 minutes or until the pears are pleasantly tender.
- Remove the vanilla bean and ginger slices. Mash the pears with a fork or potato masher until they are to your desired consistency. I like mine not overly smooth, with a some chunks of pear remaining.
- Add the lemon juice and enjoy!
This is such a simple, straightforward recipe that expert tips are hardly required! My only request is that you please use RIPE Bartlett pears for best results. If the pears are not at all ripe and rock hard, they will not soften in the oven. If your pears are indeed too hard to work with, simply let them ripen at room temperature for a day or two. You can even place them in a paper bag to help speed up the ripening process. They will be ready to go before you know it.
A compote is a fruit preserve that is cooked slowly over low heat in a sweet syrup. Typically compotes are not as sweet as jams or preserves and are more rustic in appearance, perhaps with some of the chunks of fruit remaining intact.
It will keep in the refrigerator tightly sealed in a jar or other container for about a week. For longer storage, spoon the cooled compote into a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze it for up to two months.
Ripe Bartlett pears work best here as they are quite juicy and their silky flesh turns pleasantly soft during the roasting process. If you are considering using another type of pear, just make sure they are ripe and juicy. Both ripe Comice and Anjou pears could stand in for the Bartletts in a pinch. Apples will not soften nearly as much as pears during the roasting process so I don't recommend using them here in place of the pears.
Ways to Serve Roasted Pear Compote
Quite honestly, the options are endless! Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Serve it warm over pancakes, waffles or a bowl of yogurt or vanilla ice cream;
- Add a spoonful or two to your morning bowl of porridge.
- This compote is particularly good on crispbread or a toasted English muffin that has been generously slathered with cream cheese.
- For a savory application, consider serving it on thinly sliced rye bread or toasted baguette slices with blue cheese and toasted hazelnuts. An elegant appetizer to begin your evening!
- Bake it into a cake! This Pear Cardamom Bundt Cake it an absolutely delicious way to showcase this lovely compote.
- Use it in place of the blueberry filling in these Rye Crumble Bars.
- Switch the strawberry rhubarb filling for the Roasted Pear Compote in these Barley Scones.
- Roll it inside of a rulltårta (in place of the strawberry filling) for an elegant rolled pear cake.
And this is just the beginning!
More Compote Recipes
Pears certainly aren't the only fruit that make a delicious compote. As the seasons change, give these other fruit compotes a try!
Roasted Pear Compote with Cardamom, Vanilla and Fresh Ginger
- 2 pounds Bartlett pears peeled and cut into ¾ inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- 4-5 thin slices of fresh ginger no need to peel
- a pinch course salt
- ½ vanilla bean
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine all ingredients except vanilla bean and lemon juice in an 8 or 9 inch square baking dish.
- With a small sharp knife, split vanilla bean down one side of the pod. Open up the pod and lay it flat on your cutting board. Using the back of your knife, remove the black seeds from the interior of the pod by scraping from one end of the open pod to the other. Place seeds and empty pod in the baking dish along with the other ingredients.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, stirring half way through, or until pears have softened considerably.
- Remove the pan from the oven. Using a spoon, remove and discard the vanilla bean pod and ginger slices. Mash pears with a potato masher or the back of a fork until they are create a chunky, rustic mash. Add lemon juice. Taste the mixture and season with additional lemon juice, salt or honey to taste. Once the compote has cooled, transfer to a clean jar and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
If you loved this recipe, give it a star review! Also, snap a picture of your Roasted Pear Compote and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #truenorthkitchen and tagging me @true_north_kitchen.