Baked pears are an elegant dessert that’s easy enough to make for family dinners. This healthy recipe has no added sugar, and you’re not going to miss it!
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.
I’m always amazed by the way baking or otherwise cooking transforms apples and pears from 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.
What are the best pears for baking?
Bosc and Anjou pears are best at holding their shape and texture when baked. Although Bartletts should work too if that’s all you can get. However, Comice pears are too tender and juicy and might fall apart when baked. Regardless of the variety of pear you use, it’s best to use pears that are slightly underripe in this recipe. And you definitely shouldn’t use overripe pears.
How to serve baked pears
I like to serve these healthy, no added sugar baked pears with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream. The richness of the heavy cream combines with the natural sweetness of the pears into an exquisite experience. They’re also very good with homemade frozen yogurt, or simply on their own.
No-sugar baked pears
I know that most recipes add brown sugar or honey, but personally, I find those unnecessary. To my palate, even underripe pears are sweet enough, especially when baked, and there’s really no need for added sugar.
However, my palate might be different than most. 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 definitely go ahead and add a tablespoon of honey to the melted butter mixture, and a teaspoon of honey to the heavy cream before whipping it.
Can you keep leftovers?
Yes. You can keep leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat the leftovers gently, in the microwave on 50% power. If you make whipped cream, however, it typically only lasts a few hours.
More tasty baked fruit recipes
In addition to baked pears, another healthy baked fruit recipe that I love and make quite often is this wonderful recipe for sugar-free baked apple slices. This is one of my kids’ favorite afternoon snacks in the winter! And I also love making this healthy apple crisp.
- 1 teaspoon soft unsalted butter for the baking dish
- 4 large pears, 2 lb. total weight, firm (don’t use ripe pears)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 X 13 baking dish with 1 teaspoon of butter.
- Peel the pears, halve and core. Leave the stems on – they make for a pretty presentation.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the butter, vanilla and cinnamon. Brush the pears with the butter mixture on both sides.
- Arrange the pears in the prepared baking dish, cut side down. Bake the pears until fork-tender, about 30 minutes per side, basting them every 15 minutes with the pan juices.
- When the pears are ready, use an electric hand mixer to quickly whip the cream (should take 2 minutes). Brush the pears one last time with the pan juices and serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream.