Baked Pears Recipe
These baked pears are the best things that have ever happened to pears. These caramelized pears are baked with simple ingredients, just butter, sugar, lemon juice, and spices, until soft and tender and full of caramelized goodness.
If you’re looking for gluten-free dessert options then look no further, these caramel pears are glorious! When the pears come out of the oven you’ll be fighting every fiber of your being not to just eat all of them. They taste like something that comes out of a fancy restaurant while making it takes almost no effort at all.
Translucent, speckled with vanilla seeds, and covered in delicious caramel that was created from the pear juices, brown sugar, and butter they look and taste like candied pears. I’ve made them for our women’s group and they were such a hit with everyone that I just had to share them with everyone else as well!
Best Pears for Baking:
Bosc is the best variety for this baked pear recipe because it retains the shape well when subjected to heat. They’re also wonderful for poaching like in this Amaretto Poached Pear recipe.
Anjou and Seckel are the next best choices. They bake a little softer than Bosc but still retain their shape well. I leave the skin on when using them to help them keep their shape.
Ingredients for Caramelized Pears
- Pears – choose firm varieties that handle baking well, like Bosc or Anjou.
- Lemon juice – freshly squeezed is best. Don’t use the bottled stuff that will have an off-taste.
- Brown sugar – this is what will create the caramel once joined with the pear juices and butter.
- Cinnamon and nutmeg – this will add a fragrant fall aroma and flavor to the pears, but it will taste great without the spices as well (I don’t typically add any).
- Vanilla paste – the paste has vanilla seeds that will add great taste and look to the caramelized pears.
- Butter – any butter will work for this recipe. Butter will create a creamy and luscious caramel sauce for the pears.
- Salt – just a tiny pinch to offset the sweetness of the pears and caramel.
How to make the Baked Pears
- Peel the pears. Remove the cores. Leave the stems on.
- Arrange pears in a baking pan, cut side up.
- Drizzle with lemon juice and vanilla extract, then sprinkle with sugar, spices, and a pinch of salt, and arrange the cubed butter.
- Bake in a preheated to 400F oven for 30 minutes.
- Then, turn the pears cut side down, spoon the caramel over the top and bake for another 30 minutes or until soft.
How to serve the caramelized pears?
- Serve the caramelized pears with a drizzle of the caramel that has pooled around the pears.
- Or with a dollop of Greek vanilla yogurt, vanilla ice cream, or a sprinkling of chopped walnuts or sliced almonds.
- The caramelized baked pears can be eaten hot or cold with morning oatmeal or as a filling for other desserts that require poached pears.
Pro tips for success:
- Use firm varieties of pears to help them hold shape while baking.
- Choose ripe pears that are still firm.
- Use large pears, as they will shrink considerably while baking.
- Use parchment for lining the baking dish. This makes clean-up a breeze.
- Keep an eye on the caramel to make sure it doesn’t burn.
How to store the pears?
Cool the pears completely. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Warm up in the microwave to liquefy the sauce and warm up the pears.
Baked Pears with Brown Sugar and Butter
The easiest baked pears recipe that makes the most delicious pears that you can drizzle with the caramel that's made from pear juices and sugar and serve them with ice cream, yogurt or oatmeal.
- 4 medium or large pears Bosc, Anjou or any other firmer variety suited for baking
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
- 1/2 whole lemon, juice only
- 2 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" cubes
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla emulsion (it has vanilla beans)
Prep: Preheat oven to 400F. Line a 10"x7" or a 9"x9" baking dish with parchment paper if you prefer easier cleanup, or spray it with nonstick spray.
If doubling the recipe use a 9"x13" baking dish or any other rimmed baking dish that will fit pears snugly to each other (see Note 1 at the bottom).
Peel & Core: If using a firm pear variety like Bosc, peel them. Remove the core with a melon baller or a small spoon. Leave the stems on for better visual appeal.
If you're using softer pears like Anjou, keep the skin on to help them keep the shape as they bake.
Add toppings: Set the pears cut side up inside the pan. Drizzle with lemon juice to prevent browning. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixed with nutmeg and cinnamon (if using). Arrange the cubed pieces of butter on top of the pears. Drizzle with vanilla extract.
Bake for 30 minutes cut side up. Turn the pears cut side down. Spoon the caramel over the tops to prevent browning. Bake for another 20-50 minutes or until the pears are soft, and the caramel is thickened. The pears will shrink consierably if baked until the caramel is very thick.
Bosc pears will take the longest to achieve the candied translucent look and caramelized taste. Other more delicate pear varieties will take less time to soften (Note 2 & 3).
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, yogurt, sour cream, or a sprinkle of roasted walnuts or sliced almonds. Spoon the caramel over the pears.
- Use a baking dish that is big enough to just fit the pears. If the pears are spread too far apart from each other, the juices will be evaporated quicker and there will not be enough liquid to form the caramel.
- The longer the pears are baked the thicker the caramel around them will get. If you prefer a thinner caramel sauce, bake for a total of 45 minutes to 1 hour. If you prefer thicker caramel, you can bake up to 1 hour 30 minutes.
- If using softer varieties of pears baking them too long will turn them mushy. To avoid this, bake only until the pears are soft. Then, remove the pears and continue cooking the caramel down until thickened.