This dish is quite rich, so plan on serving just half of a pear per person. For the best texture, try to buy pears that are neither fully ripe nor rock-hard; choose those that yield just slightly when pressed. Trimming 1/4 inch off the bottom of each pear half allows them to stand up straight when serving, making a beautiful presentation.–Editors of Cook’s Illustrated
LC The Trickiest Thing Note
Sometimes the trickiest thing about a recipe is not doing anything—except, that is, exhibiting patience.
Skillet-Roasted Pears with Caramel Sauce Recipe
Hands-On Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 50 minutes | Serves 6
- 3 ripe but firm Bosc or Bartlett pears (about 8 ounces each)
- 1/3 cup water
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on the sheet. Halve and core the pears, then trim 1/4 inch off the bottom of each pear half.
- 2. Add the water to a 12-inch skillet, then carefully pour the sugar into the center of the skillet, being careful not to let it splash the sides of the skillet. Gently stir the sugar just enough to thoroughly moisten it. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring only occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the liquid is bubbling, about 2 minutes.
- 3. Add the pears to the skillet, cut side down. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to medium-high, and cook until the sugar mixture caramelizes and the pears are almost tender (to test for doneness, a fork inserted into the center of the pears should meet slight resistance), 13 to 15 minutes, reducing the heat if needed to prevent the caramel from turning too dark. Uncover the skillet, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the sauce is golden brown and the cut sides of the pears are beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
- 4. Carefully pour the heavy cream around the pears and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the sauce is a smooth, deep caramel color and the cut sides of the pears are golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat and immediately transfer the pears, cut side up, to the wire rack to cool slightly.
- 5. Sprinkle the caramel in the skillet with salt to taste. Carefully prop each pear half upright on individual serving plates, drizzle with the caramel sauce, and serve immediately.
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Skillet-Roasted Pears with Caramel Sauce Recipe © 2008 Editors of Cook's Illustrated. All rights reserved.