Bay-baked pears with chocolate ice cream


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

A Simple Table

A Simple Table

By Michele Cranston

Published 2016

  • About

In this dessert, the pears do all the hard work. As they are roasting, their flesh is melding with the magical combination of butter, bay leaf, brown sugar and Marsala—and then they just sit back while we cover them in cream and serve with chocolate ice cream. In winter, desserts don’t get much easier.


  • 6 small pears, such as corella or josephine
  • 40 g ( oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) Marsala
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • chocolate ice cream, to serve
  • thin (pouring/whipping) cream, to serve


Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Halve the pears, then use a teaspoon to scoop out the cores. Place the pears, skin side up, on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut a thin slice from the top of the rounded side of each pear (this will give them a flat surface to sit on).

Put the pears on a shallow baking tray, skin side down. Rub the butter over the top of the pears.

Put the Marsala and brown sugar in a small bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Spoon a little of the sweetened Marsala into the hollowed cores of the pears, and then pour the rest into the tray. Add the bay leaves to the tray, cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.

Serve the pears warm or at room temperature with the chocolate ice cream. Drizzle the pears with a little cream and some of the juices left in the tray.