These days I often combine the dessert and cheese courses. The first reason for doing this being the obvious that it makes dinner parties a lot easier, eliminating the preparation of an extra course and washing up. We are trying to eat healthier by reducing the excess sugars and carbohydrates that often easily ‘sneak’ into the final courses. I personally don’t have a very sweet tooth and enjoy something more savoury as a finale.

Knowing that our guests have the same health sentiments as us and that they would probably prefer to linger over a glass of good wine also persuaded me to serve a cheese course. I turned to roasting pears to lighten the cheese.

It’s is one of the easiest and impressive desserts to put together.

Select even-sized, firm pears. Leaving the skin and stalks on, halve them. Arrange them cut side up in an oven proof dish. Sprinkle over some dark brown sugar and cinnamon. Add a few knobs of butter and bake at 180°C for 25-30 minutes.

Serve warm on the cheese board.

I added fresh sage leaves and flowers before baking and used the sage flowers on the cheese board. It looked and tasted stunning.