Warm or chilled, these lightly spiced baked pears make a luscious low-fat dessert. If you don’t have ground cardamom on hand, try sprinkling the pear halves with nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, or allspice for a different flavor twist.
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place one oven rack in top of oven and one in middle of oven. Combine wine, cardamom, and white pepper, if using, in 8-inch-square baking dish. Scrape vanilla bean seeds into wine mixture, and add scraped pod.
2. Place pears cut-side up in baking dish. Pour lemon juice over pears, allowing excess to spill over. Sprinkle with sugar, and top each pear half with margarine piece. Cover pan with foil, place on middle rack in oven, and bake 30 minutes, or until tender.
3. Remove foil; turn oven to broil, and shift baking pan to top rack. Broil 5 minutes, or until lightly browned.
4. Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in skillet over medium heat, shaking pan frequently, 4 to 5 minutes, or until browned.
5. Transfer pears to serving plates, drizzle with juice from pan, and sprinkle with pine nuts.