Roasted Pears Stuffed with Ricotta

from One Pan

I love baking with ricotta. I think it’s my Russian roots speaking. There’s a similar dairy product that is very popular in Russia called farmer cheese (tvorog) and there are hundreds of desserts featuring this smooth and delicious ingredient. It’s not as common in North America, so I usually use ricotta when I crave that familiar farmer cheese flavor. In this recipe I paired ricotta with almonds to create a cheesecake-like filling.


1 Bosc pear

¼ cup (60 g) smooth ricotta

½ tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp (10 g) ground almonds

½ tsp maple syrup (optional)

⅛ tsp almond extract (optional)

1 tbsp (7 g) sliced almonds


Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). While the oven is preheating, prepare the pear. Cut it in half lengthwise. Using a melon baller, scoop out the core and seeds, and discard. Scoop out more flesh from the center of the pear, leaving about 1/3 inch (8 mm) on each side. You’ll end up with approximately 1/4 cup (45 g) of scooped-out pear.

Mash the scooped-out pear with a fork. I find that it’s easier to do right on the cutting board. Don’t worry if it’s not fully smooth; you just don’t want the pear to be in big pieces. In a small bowl, mix together the mashed pear, ricotta, cinnamon, ground almonds, maple syrup and almond extract, if using. I like a little bit of extra sweetness, so I add 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup, but if the pears you are using are sweet enough, you may omit it.

Slice a very small sliver off the bottom of the pears so that they don’t roll on the pan. Divide the mixture in half and place back into the scooped-out pear halves. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Put the pear halves ricotta-side up onto a roasting pan and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Enjoy warm.

Note: If you don’t have a melon baller, don’t worry; you can use a small ice cream scoop or the sharp edge of a spoon. I find that plastic spoons work best in this case. This recipe can be easily doubled, tripled or more—just increase all the ingredients proportionally.

Serves 1 to 2

Nada’s Tips & Tricks: My Lithuanian grandmother had a version of this dessert, and it was always a “grown-up” treat.

Reprinted with permission from The Ultimate One-Pan Oven Cookbook by Julia Konovalova. Page Street Publishing Co. 2022. Photo credit: Julia Konovalova.