Sunday, February 26, 2012

Baked Pears

One of the many wonderful desserts my mother made when I was a kid was baked pears.  The best part about this dish is that it is incredibly easy, yet it looks rather elegant and complex.  The homemade caramel sauce does step up the complexity level a bit, so feel free to use store bought if you are not ready to make your own.  (I don't even know how many times I've seen someone burn their caramel on Cupcake Wars, so keep a watch on it if you do decide to do your own!)

Baked Pears with Caramel Sauce
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Ingredients for Pears
·         5 Pears
·         Pie crust (1 premade roll covers about 2 1/2 pears)
·         1 tablespoon cinnamon
·         1 tablespoon sugar
·         2 tablespoons butter

Ingredients for Caramel Sauce
·         1 cup sugar
·         1/4 cup water
·         1 cup heavy cream
·         1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions for Pears
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Peel pears.  Cut a small amount off the bottom of the pear to make a flat bottom in order for pear to easily stand upright.
  3. Rub a little butter on each pear and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture.
  4. Unroll premade pie crust and cut in about 1 inch wide strips.
  5. Wrap each pear with pie crust, pressing occasionally where each strip meets to ensure dough stays in place.  Leave the flat bottom of the pear uncovered.
  6. Rub remaining butter on dough wrapped pear and place in baking pan. 
  7. Cover pears with tin foil for the first 30 minutes of baking and remove for the final 15-20.  Drizzle caramel or chocolate sauce over baked pear and serve immediately.
Pears PreOven
Directions for Caramel Sauce
  1. Combine sugar and water in a 2 quart sauce pan.  Heat over medium heat until sugar dissolves. 
  2. Increase heat to medium high until sugar begins to brown; about 5-7 minutes.  Watch carefully as the sugar can quickly shift from caramel to burnt. 
  3. Gradually add in heavy cream, be aware of potentially splattering.  Add vanilla and simmer about 2 minutes until sauce is smooth and thick.
Sliced Baked Pear
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