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

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

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


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and butter a baking dish large enough to hold the pear halves in a single layer.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


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.