Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the pears upright in an 8-inch ceramic dish that is 4 inches deep. Cover pears with salt, allowing stems to stick out. Bake until pears are tender when pricked with a fork, 60 to 75 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Cook, without stirring, until syrup comes to a boil, washing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush several times to prevent crystals from forming. Let boil, swirling pan occasionally, until medium amber. Remove from heat, and carefully stir in butter and cream (the caramel will steam and spatter).
Remove pears from the salt, allowing a small amount to cling to each pear. Place each pear on a serving plate. Pour caramel sauce over top, and serve.