Brown Sugar Baked Pears

Elegant and simple, this dessert is sure to delight your dinner guests.

Brown Sugar Baked Pears
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Christine Keely
Active Time:
10 mins
Bake Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
50 mins

This fall, we're shining a light on one of the most underrated fall fruits: Pears. Apples have historically gotten all of the attention, but these fall fruits are just as sweet. Our Brown Sugar Baked Pears are the simple, elegant dessert that's sure to be crowned the dinner party stand-out.

Forget the fussy layer cake. Requiring only 10 minutes of active time, these Baked Pears are ridiculously easy to execute, and just as impressive as any towering cake or pie. This recipe, which calls for Bartlett pears, really lets fresh fall produce shine. Available in red or green, this kind of pear brightens and turns sweeter as it ripens. This recipe boasts not one, but two sauces. Perfectly tender pears are filled with a mixture of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, the sugary wells sweetening the pears as they cook. Then the pears baste in a warming apple cider sauce, thickened with a scant amount of cornstarch. Pro tip: Stir the sauce in the bottom of pan before drizzling over your ice cream—this helps blend the two sauces together.

These individually plated pears look oh-so-impressive with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. We would even enjoy this warmed up for breakfast over some Greek yogurt.


  • 4 medium-size firm-ripe Bartlett pears, halved lengthwise and cored

  • ¼ cup butter, melted, plus more for greasing baking dish 

  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

  • cup apple cider (such as Martinelli's)

  • Vanilla ice cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Put pears, cut side up, in a buttered 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

  2. Stir together butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Spoon into centers of pears.

  3. Whisk cornstarch with apple cider in a small bowl until smooth. Pour into bottom of baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil.

  4. Bake, covered, in preheated oven 20 minutes. Uncover; bake until tender, about 20 minutes more. Top each pear half with ice cream. Stir cooking liquid in baking dish to combine into sauce; drizzle 1 tablespoon sauce over each serving.

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