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.
Adapted from Comfort Food (Taunton Press, 2004). Copyright (c) 2004 by Taunton Press. Used by permission of the publishers.
Adapted from Comfort Food (Taunton Press, 2004).