IT’S SO EASY, and also good for you—so good you could eat one for breakfast, and nobody would even raise an eyebrow, at least not in my household. And ‘tis their season, so I’ve been baking pears. I feel silly even telling you how to do this. I mean, “baked pears” is pretty self-explanatory, right? But just in case you’ve never tried it:
easiest baked pears
- pears, firm but just ripe, such as ‘Bosc’ type
- sugar (white or brown)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly butter a Pyrex or ceramic oven-proof pan. Sprinkle a little sugar in the bottom.
- Peel (or don’t—your call), and then halve firm but just-ripe pears. I repeat the firm part because if you have ever tried to peel or core an over-ripe pear, you know it’s a messy affair. With very-ripe fruit, maybe skip the peeling.
- Scoop out the seeds, using the tip of a grapefruit spoon or a plain teaspoon, rotating it firmly but gently over each half of the seed area.
- Place the halves face down (or up—again, there’s no right or wrong) and place the pan in oven.
- Bake about 30-40 minutes, until tender.
- I use just a sprinkling of sugar in the bottom of the pan with the butter (above). I could even skip it.
- About six halves fit in a Pyrex pie pan (below).
- Using more sugar and butter, particularly brown sugar, will yield a caramel-like syrup in the bottom that you can spoon over the finished fruit, but I think the pears are sweet enough as is.
- You could also make “syrup” with apple juice and brown sugar in the pan, or add some prunes and cinnamon and a little brown sugar, or hey, bake them whole in honey and sugar with spices like clove or cinnamon. In other words: Do whatever you want and it will be delicious. (Well, maybe no sardines or olives.)
- Besides the prune idea, walnuts, raisins or dried cranberries could be used as a garnish, and the hollow in the half-pears shouts for a little cream, creme fraiche, yogurt or even ice cream.
Disclaimer: Good luck eating only one-half or even one whole baked pear. At least you can say it was doctor’s orders, and that you were just trying to get all your servings of fruits and vegetables.