Admit it. Pears are downright sexy.
Look at those curves. The elegance. It's almost understandable why every women's lifestyle magazine has an article entitled "Clothes To Compliment Your Body Shape" which follows by telling the reader to identify their body shape by fruit. Are you an apple? A pear? Great! A brown burlap sack is perfect for you this fall!
Their sexiness led me to dress these autumnal pears in something especially revealing... caramel with a side of pearls.
Yeah, you work it pears.
Here's how it all goes down...
Caramel Covered Pears with Sanding Sugar and Drizzled Chocolate
5-6 pears (try to pick out pears with sturdy stems)
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup unsalted butter (10 tablespoons) cut into pieces
2/3 light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 oz. dark chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar (no more than 70% cocoa) cut into pieces
2 tablespoons shortening
Sanding sugar or gold sprinkles
In a large stainless steel heavy-bottom pan, mix the sugars, butter, corn syrup, cream, salt, and vanilla extract. Bring to a medium heat, stirring very often to prevent burning, until the mixture reaches approximately 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a candy thermometer to gauge the temperature. If you prefer a slightly thicker and darker caramel coating, let the mixture reach between 255 and 260 degrees. Upon reaching the desired temperature, remove the pan from heat and let cool for one to two minutes.
Hold the pears by the top or the stem and dip into the caramel and twist until they have been approximately 2/3 covered. Let the excess drip from the bottom back into the pan and transfer to a wax paper-lined baking sheet to dry. Apply sanding sugar or sprinkles.
*As a note, the caramel dries extremely quickly, so if you're planning on using sanding sugar or sprinkles, they should be applied as fast as possible. If you're going the melted chocolate route, you have more time and will wait until the caramel coating is totally dried before applying the chocolate.
Melting the chocolate: Using a double broiler, boil approx. 3 cups of water. Place dark chocolate and shortening in completely dry (*any touch of water will cause the chocolate to seize) upper pan and mix constantly using a rubber spatula until melted. Once the chocolate is melted and thin, pour into a thick plastic bag. Cut a small opening in one of the lower corners and use to decorate. Let the pears harden in the refrigerator before serving.