baked pears for breakfast, or maybe dessert

baked pear 2IT’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)
  • butter

peeled pears to bake 2steps:

  • 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.

making baked pears 2notes:

  • 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 or anchovies.)
  • 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.

pears ready to bake 2Disclaimer: 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.

  1. Betsy says:

    I don’t have pears right now, but I will bake apples for breakfast tomorrow. Next time I go to market, though, I’m buying pears….

    Thank you for reminding me how easy it is to have something so yummy.

  2. Donna B. says:

    I absolutely love eating baked fruits – especially since I’m terribly allergic to them raw.
    But you know, I never thought about making baking a bunch and keeping them in the fridge to re-heat for breakfasts. Some simple yogurt and some grannola sounds perfect for such a thing!
    Time to goto the store! :D

  3. Carol P. says:

    My grandma made the best pie with apples and pears mixed for the filling, sorry I like comfort foods this time of year!

  4. Irene says:

    Pears are not my favorite fruit but will try baking them with some of the add ons you suggested. Hint: I use a melen baller to remove the seeded part of the fruit, works really great on apples as well. And, efficiently scrapes out the seeds from melons. Love this tool.

    Elaine, try walnut oil instead of butter. Yum.

  5. Janet Teacher says:

    I do this with a drizzle of olive oil instead of butter, and another drizzle of maple syrup. It’s divine with apples or pears. And If you add a third drizzle of white wine, just a spoonful, it’s even better.

  6. Cathy says:

    Had 4 Bosc pears & you inspired me to bake some-I foolishly thought 2 pears would be enough-wrong-should have baked them all-absolutely delicious. I rubbed generous amount of butter in bottom of Corning Ware oval baking dish, sprinkled in granulated crystal sugar (the kind for decorating cookies etc) & popped them in oven. And how pretty they looked in that caramel syrup. I drizzled a bit of cream on to serve-of course ate some warm-couldn’t wait. Not bad cold for breakfast either. Aldi’s has pears 4 for $1.49-their on my shopping list for today. Loving fruit for dessert. Thanks Margaret!

  7. Jackie P. says:

    I also use a melon baller to scoop out seeds from fruit. This recipe sounds wonderful — the pears are in the markets now and very flavorful. Received a jar of canned pears for Christmas — made with cinnamon, sugar and a touch of hot peppers for a kick. They turned pink! So good. Looking forward to baking some pears —
    ALSO looking forward to your new book coming out. I pre-ordered from Amazon, so expect to be hearing from them soon!

  8. Nadia A says:

    I love fruit in all forms. For me fruit is soul food. I make something similar but i cut up the fruit and mix these ingredients with some oat flour. Its so yummy.

    1. margaret says:

      I don’t know, Renny. I suspect that if you covered them it would work, but the butter would go crazy in a microwave, no? Not sure.

  9. Cynthia says:

    Elaine: I suggest poaching the pears instead. Just halve and seed them, as Margaret suggests. Bring some water with a little honey or juice (cranapple is good) to a boil on the stovetop in a heavy-ish pan. Place the pear halves in the pan. I start out cut side down, but don’t really have a good reason. The liquid doesn’t even need to cover the pears. Half-way up is fine. Cover the pot and simmer until the pears are as soft as you want them (check by poking with a knife). It usually only takes me about 5-10 minutes depending on how ripe the pears are. Lift them out with a slotted spoon. i like them with a cooked, whole cranberry relish and some plain yogurt. No butter required!

  10. Daisy Marshall says:

    Do I love pears!!!!! And could this be easier!!!!! Right up my alley and I don’t even have to wait for a cold day. Treating myself on my day off this week. Breakfast will be good. Got Katrina’s book yestseday, already on the 4th chapter and I’m reading slow, such delight!!!!! And then, your book………… it’s gonna be a good year Margaret. Off to a great start!!!!!! So very many thanks, Daisy.

  11. John J Coblentz says:

    Just about the best dessert I have ever made! Thank you so much! We are vegan so here are my variations: I prepared the pyrex dish with a good coat of earth balance vegan spread, drzzeled ginger syrup aoss bottom and arranged pear halves (with skins) cut side down. Drizzled more ginger syrup on top and baked as you directed. I then made a faux creme fraiche with a good plain soy yogurt to which I added 1/2 tsp cardamon and 2 tsps ginger syrup. Wow!

  12. Nora says:

    I make a very similar recipe, but put the halves hole-side-up and spread a mixture of creme fraiche with vanilla bean in it (sour cream works too). I then sprinkle some brown sugar over the top and put the whole thing in the oven. The creme fraiche turns into a runny cream cheese like texture with a caramelized sugar crust on top. One of my favorites!

  13. Sharon says:

    I roasted not-very-flavorful Bosc pears in a bit of vanilla sugar – I dredged them to help them exude their juices, then sprinkled them with Saigon cinnamon, fresh-grated nutmeg, then about a tablespoon of Grand Marnier, threw in a few candied ginger nibs and covered the pans with foil. I roasted them awhile before I removed the covers to let everything caramelize a bit more. I made two pans, one had a bit of butter, but in the end, I wasn’t really sure the tiny bit I added made a noticeable flavor difference. Margaret, thanks so much for the suggestion and the instruction that they could be roasted with very little sugar. A wonderful, healthy dessert, especially with some vanilla yogurt.

  14. joanne says:

    PBS cooking show: pan fried the peeled Bosc pear halves (cut side down) in butter then turned them over and put them (still in frying pan) in a slow oven (325) until as soft as you want. They made some sort of pan sauce to go over. Cook’s Country I think or America’s Test Kitchen 12/17/2016

  15. Barbara Fornwalt says:

    I make baked pear crisp regularly during winter. Just some rolled oats with a little melted butter and brown sugar and a sprinkle of nutmeg placed in the cavity of each halved pear. Serve with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream.

  16. Dianne says:

    Margaret I have been making this recipe since you first posted it but after baking add plain yogurt in the cavity and sprinkle with nutmeg, sliced almonds and drizzle with maple syrup. It looks so elegant and is always a hit. Thank you for all the times I have made this.

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