A recipe from local Orange cook Lesley Russell, which will appear in her upcoming book Nothing Rhymes with Orange

Roasting Fruit

I like to roast fruit all year round. It is one of the quickest, simplest and most delicious ways to enjoy our produce.

For stone fruit like apricots, peaches, plums and nectarines, cut each one in half and remove the stone. Cut apples, red or green, into quarters and trim away the core but leave the skins on. Slice pears into quarters or eighths depending on their size, leaving both the skin and stalks on. Cut out the cores if you wish.

Tumble the fruit into a roasting dish and dot generously with butter then scatter with brown sugar. Roast in the centre of the oven at 180C tossing now and then until softened and nicely coloured. Taste the fruit and add a splash of verjuice or lemon juice to balance the sweetness if necessary. Soft fruits will take less time so keep an eye on them. Firm pears or apples may take longer. Serve the fruit while it is still warm with a dollop of cream or a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. I usually add a scatter of roasted hazelnuts too, Fourjay Farms of course.

Happy winter cooking! xx Lesley

Honey Verjuice Roast Pears

So simple yet so good. I’ve making these pears for years now and I keep coming back to them. They need nothing more than a dollop of cream and a spoonful of their luscious juice. Of course, a scattering of crushed hazelnuts is always good.

They are excellent served with soft cheeses and are fabulous in cakes. The pears will be fine if you need to do them ahead of time, just make sure they are thoroughly warmed when you serve them because the butter solidifies when they are cold.

Time: 40 – 50 minutes

Serves 8

4 firm Beurre Bosc pears
80g butter
50g brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
50ml (approx) Verjuice

1. Heat the oven to 190C

2. Slice the pears lengthways into 6 wedges each leaving the skin and stalks on. Remove the cores.

3. Tumble the pears into a roasting dish. Dot with the butter and scatter with the sugar.

4. Roast in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes, tossing every now and then. The pears should be sizzling gently as they roast. Once finished they will be softened through, golden brown and the juices nicely caramelised in the pan. If the pears were firm to begin with they may take longer.

5. Towards the end of cooking add the honey and verjuice to balance the flavour. Continue to roast until the juice in the pan is thickened and caramelised. Check the sauce and add more honey or verjuice to suit your taste.

6. Serve three pieces per person with a spoonful of the sauce and cream.