When I got home, I placed all the pears (about 8 of them) in a large zipped bag and popped them in the fridge to both delay the ripening and keep the fruit flies away from the juicy gashes it had picked up in travel.
So that's what I did.
This went into an oven where I let them roast until tender. The maple syrup dressing created a kind of gooey caramel laced with just a hint of cinnamon and a touch of salt; absolutely perfect with the roasted pears!
The next day while watching television Eugene randomly looked up and asked, "Any plans to roast some more pears today?"
Always the sign of a recipe well done.
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Roasted Pears with Maple Syrup Caramel
6 very ripe pears, quartered or cut into eighths (don't peel)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup butter, melted
Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 rounded teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter an 8" baking pan.
Arrange the quartered pears skin-side up on the buttered baking pan. In a separate bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, melted butter, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, and kosher salt. Pour over the pears.
Place in the oven and roast for about 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven, use a spoon or tongs to flip the pears, then return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
Serve immediately while still hot over yogurt or vanilla ice cream. Also wonderful with cake or alongside cheese.