Have you ever had a Hasselback Potato? “Hasselback” refers to a classic preparation of a potato, not the variety. Developed in the 18th century in Stockholm, Sweden, they were first made at a restaurant called Hasselbacken, which is how they were named. (Here’s an example of a beautiful Hasselback Potato and how to make them.)
Enough about potatoes! (For now, anyway.) What I really want to talk about are gorgeous, juicy and crisp Korean pears that are in season right now. Since they are firm, these delicious pears lend themselves perfectly to the Hasselback potato preparation.
Roasting them with thinly cut slits allows more flavor to be absorbed into the center of the pears, and they’ll be slightly crisp on the outside, but still soft inside. And all the flavors that are absorbed into the pears are absolutely divine! Anytime you add sweetness to rosemary, you get something very special.
Aren’t they so pretty!? And wouldn’t they be lovely for a holiday dessert? They do take some time, but I think it’s well worth the effort. You should make them and see if you agree. (I think you will. ;-))
Friday Flowers is just a little something I do on this site, every now and then, for fun. These Camelias are just outside my house and I love the delicate, paper-like petals. They’re almost as delicate as the thinly sliced pears. To learn more about Friday Flowers, click here.
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh grapefruit juice
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 Korean pears
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, adjust a rack to just above the center of the oven, and use 1 teaspoon of the butter to grease an approximately 8 X 8 X 3-inch baking dish. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, grapefruit juice, rosemary and vanilla. Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat. Stir to ensure all of the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
- Peel the pears and then cut them in half, lengthwise. Use a melon baler to remove the seeds from each half, and then a paring knife to cut out any remaining stem.
- With a very sharp paring knife, cut as many slits as you can, and as thinly as you can, horizontally, into the round side of the pear halves. Do not cut all the way through the pear! Your knife should stop about about 1-inch from the bottom.
- Place the prepared pear halves, flat side down, in the greased baking dish.
- Then pour the rosemary syrup over them. (Do not wash the saucepan - you'll need it later.) The pears should be well coated -- you can use the tip of a knife to open each slit slightly to be sure the syrup goes inside. The syrup will only go about ¼ to ½ way up the sides of the pears.
- Place the pears in the preheated 400 degree F oven and set the timer for 15 minutes. Use a small ladle or a soup spoon, to baste the pears, again getting the syrup into the slits. (The slits will become more open as they roast, and it will therefore become easier to do this.) Continue to set the timer and baste every 15 minutes, until you've reached 1-1/2 hours. Then add about ¼ teaspoon of the remaining teaspoon of butter, to the top of each pear. Place them back in the oven for a few more minutes. If they are not golden on top, place them under the broiler for about 30 seconds. (Watch them carefully in the broiler!)
- Gently remove the pears with a flat-bottomed spatula, and place them on a plate. Set aside.
- Pour all of the syrup form the baking dish back into the saucepan, and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat to low and simmer until it's reduced by about half, and has thickened. Now strain the syrup into a small bowl or serving pitcher.
- Serve the pears warm, drizzled with a bit of the syrup.
To learn more about Korean pears, you can read my post, Introducing Korean Pears.
This is not a sponsored post. Melissa’s Produce sent me Korean Pears for recipe testing, and as always, all opinions are my own.