Hot Curried Pears with Pomegranate
These Hot Curried Pears are lavished with savory ghee, curry powder, and coconut sugar before a tenderizing spin in the oven and finally a sprinkling of the nutritional gemstones known as pomegranate seeds. In the colder months when pears are in-season, roasting them this way with a bit of sugar and spice is oh-so-nice.
This recipe happens to be gluten-free, dairy-free, and Paleo.
Serve these as a clean and lovely dessert, a sweet side dish alongside pork chops or roasted chicken, or as a deluxe brunch side dish. Aside from peeling the pears and extracting the pomegranate seeds, it's an easy preparation, but the result is elegant and delectable.
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Reinventing a Family Recipe
True story: I’ve eaten these pears every Christmas morning of my life, at least as long as I can remember. My mother pulled the original recipe from a local Junior League recipe collection.
Typical of the late seventies, it was made with an assortment of canned fruit that was drowning in heavy syrup. We called it “Hot Curried Fruit,” and that kiss of curry powder was pretty exotic for our midwestern table.
Honestly, as a kid, I turned my nose up at it, especially the mushy peaches, bing cherries, and nectarines. But the pears were alright. I would plop a couple of pear wedges of on my plate as the required “no-thank-you helping” (house rules) and dutifully choke them down. It was a different time...
Somehow, as the years went by, those smells and tastes grew deep nostalgic roots in me. The buttery golden-tinged fruit would mingle with my mother’s Christmas Morning casserole (a ham and cheese breakfast strata), and as my palate matured, I came to appreciate and eventually like our hot curried fruit tradition.
But as soon as I had my own kitchen, and my own Christmas mornings to cook for, I set about resculpting this recipe into something less seventies and more sexy.
This updated version is cleaned up and improved but still carries those nostalgic roots.
You can serve this any time of year or in any way you like, but for me, this will always be the smell and taste of Christmas morning. The candles are lit, the gifts are unwrapped, the table is set with placemats and OJ, and Charlie Brown’s Christmas album is on the stereo. If we're lucky, snowflakes are falling outside, and the whole house feels like its own little snow globe. It’s one of the coziest, sleepiest, most magical times of the year, and it wouldn’t be the same without these Hot Curried Pears with Pomegranate.
- Be sure to use pears that are somewhat ripe but not too soft.
- Any type of pear works here, but Bosc is especially nice.
- A melon baller works well for removing the core of the pear, once halved. If you don't have one, no worries. Just use a paring knife.
- These can be prepared one or two days in advance and reheated. They keep for several days in the fridge.
- Pears are an excellent source of fiber, both soluble and insoluble. This can help relieve constipation which is often associated with an underactive or missing thyroid. It also supports gut health by feeding beneficial gut bacteria. Pears feature an array of antioxidant flavonoids and other anti-inflammatory plant compounds.
- Pomegranate Seeds also called arils, provide fiber and highly potent antioxidants called punicalagins, which are not found in many other plants. These antioxidants have powerful health benefits like cancer prevention, memory improvement, increased exercise performance, and decreased inflammation.
- Turmeric, which is a key ingredient in curry powder, has multiple health benefits for those of us with thyroid disease. It can help protect and heal the intestinal barrier (leaky gut) and reduce inflammation throughout the body, in joints, muscle tissue, and even from GI conditions like Crohn’s, IBS, and ulcerative colitis.
Happy cooking, happy thriving, and enjoy the recipe (below)!
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