Bourbon-Baked Pears

We love cooking with bourbon – it has a smoky-sweet quality that blends so well with other flavors, particularly the butterscotch notes in this easy-to-make dessert. We chose to use Forelle pears, a beautiful, small pear with a lovely shape and great flavor. Find them if you can, but don’t hesitate to use another variety.

Bourbon-Baked Pears

Bourbon-Baked Pears

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Fresh pears baked and basted with a combination of butter, dark brown sugar, vanilla and bourbon make a scrumptious, super-easy dessert.


  • 1 lb fresh pears, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup bourbon


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F and butter a baking dish large enough to hold the pear halves in a single layer.
  • Using a melon baller or small spoon, scoop the core and seeds from the pears, drizzle them with lemon juice and arrange them in the prepared baking dish.
  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and vanilla, stir to combine, then cook until syrupy, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes. Watch carefully – this mixture can burn easily.
  • Gradually whisk in the bourbon and cook just until blended and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Spoon the mixture over the pears, allowing it to pool in the centers where you removed the cores.
  • Bake, uncovered for 45 to 50 minutes, until the pears are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Tips for Making This Recipe

About the pears:

Try to choose pears for this dish that are ripe, but still firm. The Forelles that we used are a small variety of pear with a naturally sweet flavor and somewhat firmer texture. They hold their shape well for baking and would probably make a great choice for poaching as well. The small size makes for a reasonably sized dessert portion too – particularly if you are going to serve it along with ice cream.
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