8 oz block cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp finely grated orange peel
8 ripe but firm pears
Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Place cream cheese in a medium bowl. Using a wooden spoon or electric mixer, beat until smooth. Gradually beat in sugar until well mixed, then egg yolks and vanilla. Beat well for about a minute. Then sprinkle in orange peel and stir until evenly mixed.
Slice about a 1-inch (2.5-cm) cap from top of each pear. Set aside. Trim bottoms of pears so they'll sit flat. Using a small spoon, scoop out and discard cores, along with enough pear flesh to create hollows that will hold about 2 tbsp (30 mL). Spoon in cheese mixture.
Place on a baking sheet along with pear tops. Bake in centre of preheated oven until filling is set and light golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Place on plates with tops on side. Marvelous warm, pears are best eaten the day they're made.