Baked Pears with Caramel Sauce

I enjoyed these wonderful baked pears at a bed and breakfast called The Elms in Napa Valley. They were served as a first course while we waited for the breakfast main dish to be served. The B&B owner was gracious enough to share this simple recipe with me. This is one of my favorite dishes for fall and holiday brunches and the recipe is easily adjustable for any number of guests. These baked pears are equally delicious served as dessert!

INGREDIENTS:

Pears
Brown Sugar
Butter
Cream
Toasted hazelnuts or walnuts

METHOD:

Allow 1/2 pear per person.

Peel and cut pears in half, remove stem and seeds with a melon baller.

Arrange pears flat side down in baking dish.

Sprinkle lightly with brown sugar and dot with butter. (Use about 1 tablespoon per pear half of each brown sugar and butter.) Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. Add a little cream to the pan to make a sauce and stir to combine with pan juices. (Use about 1 tablespoon per pear half.) Spoon sauce over pears. Bake for another 10-15 minutes.

Remove pears from baking dish and arrange pears on individual serving dishes. Spoon a tablespoon of sauce over each pear.* Garnish stem top of pear with sprig of mint for “leaves.” Serve warm with a sprinkle of toasted, chopped hazelnuts or walnuts.

*After removing pears from baking dish, you can strain the caramel sauce in the pan through a fine mesh strainer into a small pan and further reduce it on the stove top, if a thicker caramel sauce is desired.

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