Baked pears make an elegant dessert that's easy enough to make for family dinners. This delicious recipe has no added sugar, and you're not going to miss it!
I'm always amazed by the way cooking transforms apples and pears from mere fruit into sumptuous desserts. Another wonderful thing about baked fruit is the amazing aroma they fill your kitchen with as they bake.
The smell of these baked fruit desserts is just as good as their flavor, and I strongly associate it with fall and winter.
The ingredients you'll need
Baked pears make a beautiful, elegant, delicious dessert. My guests always love this dessert, but it's an easy enough recipe that I often make it for my family, especially on the weekend.
You'll only need four simple ingredients to make this tasty dessert. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Fresh pears: See the discussion below on the best varieties to use in this recipe.
Melted unsalted butter: I love using creamy European butter, but any butter will be great. Just make sure it's unsalted.
Vanilla extract: Try to use the real thing - pure vanilla extract - and not the artificially flavored stuff.
Cinnamon: Make sure it's fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
How to make baked pears
It's so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. Start by peeling the pears, then halve and core them. I core them with a small paring knife.
2. Mix the melted butter, vanilla, and cinnamon.
3. Brush the mixture all over the pears.
4. Bake them for 30 minutes per side at 350°F, basting them with the pan juices every 15 minutes.
What are the best pears for baking?
Bosc and Anjou pears are best at holding their shape and texture when cooked. Although Bartletts should work too if that's all you can get.
On the other hand, Comice pears are too tender and juicy and might fall apart when cooked.
Regardless of the variety of pear you use, it's best to use pears that are slightly underripe. And you definitely shouldn't use overripe ones.
How to serve them
I like to serve baked pears with a dollop of homemade whipped cream. The richness of the heavy cream combines with the natural sweetness of the pears to create an exquisite experience.
They're also very good with homemade frozen yogurt, with vanilla ice cream, or simply on their own.
There's no need for added sugar
I know that most similar recipes add brown sugar or honey. But personally, I find those unnecessary.
To my palate, even underripe pears are sweet enough, especially when cooked, and there's really no need for added sugar.
However, I like my desserts rich rather than sweet (I find 90% cacao chocolate perfectly sweet, for example). If you like your desserts very sweet, then you might want to go ahead and add a tablespoon of honey to the melted butter mixture.
Can you keep leftovers?
Yes. You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them gently, in the microwave on 50% power. They're also good cold.
More tasty baked fruit recipes
I love making this wonderful recipe for sugar-free baked apple slices. It's one of my kids' favorite afternoon snacks in the winter. And another good one is this easy recipe for delicious apple crisp.
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- 4 large pears 2 lb. total weight, firm (don’t use ripe pears)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted, plus 1 teaspoon for the pan
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter the bottom of a 9 X 13 baking dish.
- Peel the pears, halve and core them. You can core them with a melon baller, with a metal measuring spoon, or with a paring knife, as I do in the video below. I like to leave the stems on - they make for a pretty presentation. But you can cut them off if you wish. You can also shave a thin slice off the bottom of each pear half, enabling them to stay upright in the baking dish.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the butter, vanilla, and cinnamon. Brush the pears with the mixture on both sides.
- Arrange the pears in the prepared baking dish, cut side down. Bake them until fork-tender, about 30 minutes per side, basting every 15 minutes with the pan juices.
- Brush the pears one last time with the pan juices and serve warm.