Brown sugar with a little cream and vanilla makes a velvety caramel sauce for pears to snuggle up in, and the whole thing goes from stovetop to oven to table, easy as pie.
This has it all: Harvest aromas, melting sweetness, and the goodness of pears. Just add a dollop of vanilla ice cream (or whipped cream) or use as a topping for pound cake. Butterscotch Baked Pears are surprisingly simple to make and oh-so-delicious.
4 ripe but firm pears
6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 firmly packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Scotch whisky (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Peel the pears, cut them in half lengthwise and, using a melon baller, scoop out the cores. Rub all over with lemon half to prevent browning.
2. In a large heavy-bottomed ovenproof skillet (iron is ideal), melt the butter over medium heat. Add sugar and brown sugar and stir to dissolve. Arrange pears in pan, cut side down, in a single layer.
3. Bake the pears uncovered, basting occasionally with the liquid in the pan, until they begin to soften and color slightly, 20 minutes to 1 hour depending on ripeness of pears. Remove pears with a slotted spoon and set aside.
4. Transfer pan to a burner and boil the mixture left behind over medium-high heat until it reaches a rich, golden-brown color and smells like caramel, 2 to 5 minutes.
5. Slowly whisk in the cream until smooth. Add vanilla, salt, and Scotch (if using). Serve the sauce over the warm pears.