This delicious dessert was the finale to our Boeuf Bourguignon dinner last evening. It is so amazing in taste and yet so simple to prepare. I found a recipe some time ago for something similar, but the sauce was too runny, so I created a version that carmelizes the sauce and makes it thicker. It is much tastier (especially over the vanilla ice cream!).
By the way, I found mammoth sized pears at Costco (isn’t everything mammoth in size at that store?) that were quite inexpensive and every bit as good as the ones you would purchase at your local grocery. (The only difference I noticed was that since they were so large, they were a little “woody” where the stem runs through the pear. You might want to remove this section down to the core). If you are preparing dessert for a large dinner party, I suggest you go there if you can to buy your pears since they were so reasonably priced. They also were perfectly shaped and looked quite pretty to serve to guests. Surprisingly, they cooked in the same amount of time as smaller pears, so be sure not to cook them any longer than 30 minutes even if they are larger.
Here is my recipe:
Baked Pears with Caramel Sauce
2 firm Bosc pears, cut in half, peeled and cored
2/3 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup apple cider
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Good vanilla ice cream (I used Haagen-Dazs)
Fresh mint, optional
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine brown sugar and apple cider in a small saucepan and bring to a slight boil, making sure sugar is dissolved. Stir in butter. Place pears in a shallow baking dish cut side up (mine were so large last night that I had to use a 13 X 9 inch dish). Pour sauce over pears.
Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, basting pears frequently. Check to make sure they are fork tender. Remove the pears and keep warm. Pour the sauce back into the saucepan and reduce over medium heat until it is thick and syrupy, whisking constantly to keep it from separating.
Drizzle sauce over pears and ice cream. Garnish with fresh mint (I did not have any last night, but it makes for a nicer presentation). Serve immediately.
This is a perfect Winter dessert when pears are in season. The flavors will definitely impress your guests!