Roasting fruits and vegetables is one of the things I really look forward to once the air begins to get crisp and chilled. The simplicity of roasting is one of the many benefits of the method—simply slice and put it in the oven—occasionally oil, sugar, or spice will be added, but for fruit like pears there's no need. The sugars in the fruit begin to caramelize and the flavor and sweetness gets concentrated, which is exactly why I like to use it in cocktails.
For this cocktail I puréed the roasted pear and added a little pear brandy to punch up the flavor. I balanced the fruity element by adding herbal flavors through the use of gin and a pinch of freshly ground cardamom. A splash of lemon juice rounds out the cocktail, brightening all the flavors. The cocktail balances aromatic notes of the cardamom with the smooth flavor of pear and gently herbal character of the gin. It's perfect for a leisurely afternoon or quiet evening spent relaxing in the warmth of your house.
About the author: Kelly Carámbula blogs about her adventures in the kitchen, including a weekly happy hour, on eat make read. She is also the founder and publisher of Remedy Quarterly, an independent food magazine.
- For roasted pear purée:
- 6 pears, peeled, cored, and sliced from top to bottom
- 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup water
- For the cocktail:
- 1 ounce roasted pear purée
- 1 ounce gin
- 1/2 ounce pear brandy
- 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- Pinch of freshly ground cardamom
To roast the pears: Preheat oven to 350°F. Lay pears flat side down in a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, or until soft to the touch. Let cool. Place pears in a blender along with 1/4 cup water. Purée until the pear is thoroughly blended and slightly thinner than applesauce, you may need to add another 1/4 cup of water. Let cool.
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add pear purée, gin, pear brandy, lemon juice, cardamom, and simple syrup. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain into cocktail glass.