Roasted Sugar Glazed Pears

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Serves 6

I love poached pears, roasted pears, baked pears and even pear jelly bellies. These are sweet and soft and delicious.

7 firm pears
3 tablespoons rum
2 tablespoons dried currants
2 tablespoons golden raisins
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons whole, blanched almonds, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 2″-piece ginger, peeled and minced (optional)
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Zest and juice of 1 orange
4 tablespoon margarine, softened, plus more for greasing
½ cup sugar

Peel, core, and finely chop 1 pear and place it in a 2-qt. saucepan along with rum, currants, raisins, brown sugar, almonds, ¼ tsp. cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, ginger, and both zests and juices; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring, until mixture is soft and thickened, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 9″ glass pie dish with margarine; set aside. Combine remaining cinnamon with sugar in a bowl; set aside. Using a channel knife, cut a spiral pattern in the skin of each remaining pear from top to bottom, if you like. Carefully core each pear from the bottom with a melon baller, coring about 1½–2″ deep. Divide stuffing among pears; brush outsides with butter and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat. Stand pears upright in the prepared dish, and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar; bake until just tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 40 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

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