It’s that time of year when those in the Northern Hemisphere flood our Instagram feeds with images of falling leaves, colorful foliage, knitwear, and cups of hot cocoa. While it may feel like summer here in Dubai, there’s no reason we can’t celebrate this glorious season with a cozy dessert. We’ve used Lebanese pears to create a rich and buttery treat that is topped with tangy cardamom labneh. Trust us — just one bite and you’ll be transported to a crisp fall day in no time.
- 6 to 8 small pears, halved and cored
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp dark-brown sugar
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 whole cloves
- A pinch of ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tbsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup water
- Chopped nuts or granola, for garnish
- ½ cup labneh
- ½ tsp vanilla-bean paste
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom (seeds from about 3 pods)
Heat a heavy-duty skillet (such as a cast-iron pan) over medium heat. Add the butter, vanilla extract, dark-brown sugar, and granulated sugar to the pan, mixing well with a spatula.
Once the butter has melted and combined with the vanilla and two sugars, add in the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. The mixture will start to form a syrup that is dark caramel in color. Be cautious of the heat so that it doesn’t burn or solidify. Once it reaches a syrup consistency, add in the lemon juice and water. Place the pears, hollowed-out side down, into the pan.
Lower the heat to medium low and continuously baste the pears with the syrup until fork-tender and soft (about ten to 15 minutes).
To make the cardamom labneh, mix labneh with vanilla-bean paste and ground cardamom until well combined.
Serve the pears in the syrup with a dollop of cardamom labneh and a sprinkle of your favorite chopped nuts or granola.
Noreen Wasti is the creator of Noni’s Place, a food and lifestyle website.