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.
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.
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