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!
Serve them on their own or with a dollop of whipped cream. You can even make them ahead of time!
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 cinnamony fragrance of these baked fruit desserts is just as good as their flavor, and I strongly associate it with fall and winter. It's no wonder I make this recipe almost weekly! It's a pleasure to make and a pleasure to eat.
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.
Making this recipe is so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
You start by peeling the pears, then you halve and core them. I core them with a small paring knife, as shown in the video below.
Now, mix together some melted butter, vanilla, and cinnamon, and coat the pears with the mixture.
The final step is to bake the pears for 30 minutes per side at 350°F, basting them with the pan juices every 15 minutes.
Frequently asked questions
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.
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.
Yes. You can bake the pears ahead of time and chill them in the fridge. You can then serve them cold, or gently reheat them in the microwave prior to serving them.
I like to serve these 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, vanilla ice cream, or simply on their own.
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.
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No-Sugar-Added Baked Pears
- 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.