4 firm but ripe pears, I used Beurre Bosc
½ cup brown sugar
50 grams butter
½ cup Marsala
1 cinnamon stick
350 grams seedless red grapes
softly whipped cream or ice cream
Preheat the oven to 200˚C.
Put the sugar and butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil then stir in the Marsala and bring back to the boil. Remove the skin of the orange with a vegetable peeler then squeeze the juice. Add both to the sauce along with the cinnamon stick.
Cut the pears into quarters through the stem and scoop out the cores. Place in a single layer in a shallow baking dish and spoon the sauce over the pears.
Bake for 30 minutes, turning and basting the pears every 10 minutes.
Cut the grapes into small bunches and dot around the pears. Bake for a further 10 minutes until the grapes have shriveled a little and the sauce has reduced and thickened.
To serve: Divide the warm fruit between serving bowls and top with the sauce and softly whipped cream or ice cream.
Pantry note: Marsala is a fortified wine from Sicily. Dry Marsala can be drunk as an aperitif or added to savoury dishes. The sweet version is used in cooking, such as in the classic dessert, Zabaglione.