Pear-Butterscotch Sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:



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By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

This sauce is the natural outcome of caramelizing pears with sugar and butter. Pear-Butterscotch Sauce could be described as an integral dessert sauce. Pears prepared in this way are much more exciting than poached pears.


pears 6 6
lemon ½ ½
granulated sugar 1 cup plus 2 tbsp 225 g
butter, cut into large chunks 5 oz 150 g
heavy cream 1 cup 250 ml
poire william (optional) to taste (about 3 tbsp) to taste (about 50 ml)
raspberry coulis (optional) as needed as needed
whipped cream (optional) as needed as needed


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Peel the pears, cut them in half lengthwise, and remove the cores with a paring knife. Rub them with the lemon.
  2. Spread the pear halves, round side down, in a single layer in a heavy-bottomed pot. Do not leave any section of the pot bottom uncovered, or the sauce will burn.
  3. Sprinkle the pears with the sugar and butter.
  4. Bake the pears until they soften and begin to brown slightly. This can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the ripeness of the pears. Remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon.
  5. When the pears are cooked, the butter should be clear and the sugar should be lightly caramelized on the bottom of the pot. If not, cook the mixture on top of the stove until the liquids on the bottom are well browned.
  6. Pour in the cream while the pot is still hot. Whisk the mixture while scraping the bottom of the pot to dissolve the caramelized sugar.
  7. Strain the sauce and let it cool slightly. Flavor it with Poire William, if desired.
  8. Serve the sauce over the hot pears. Raspberry coulis and whipped cream may be served alongside if desired.