Pear-Blueberry Betty


This classic American dessert is more than 100 years old. It's often made with apples but here we use pear and blueberries with delicious results.


  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 10 ounces good-quality white bread, crusts removed

  • 4 Bartlett pears (1 ¾ pounds), peeled

  • 4 tablespoons light-brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

  • ¼ cup pear brandy (regular brandy can be substituted)

  • 5 tablespoons pear nectar (apple cider can be substituted)

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted

  • ¾ cup blueberries

  • 8 ounces plain nonfat yogurt

  • Butter-flavored vegetable spray


  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray eight 4-ounce ramekins or custard cups with vegetable spray; coat each with 3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar. Cut bread into 1/4-inch cubes; place on a baking sheet and toast until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool. Raise oven temperature to 400 degree.

  2. Slice pears in half lengthwise; core. Cut each half crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices; place in a bowl. Add 3 tablespoons brown sugar, cornstarch, ginger, brandy, and 4 tablespoons pear nectar; toss to combine.

  3. Place bread cubes in a bowl; add melted butter and half the liquid from pear mixture; toss to combine. Place 1 heaping tablespoon bread in each ramekin to cover bottom. Distribute half the pears among ramekins. Add 1 heaping tablespoon blueberries to each; cover with remaining pears. Divide remaining bread over pears; drizzle with remaining pear liquid.

  4. Cover each ramekin with foil; press down on tops and place on a baking sheet. Place a baking pan on top of ramekins and fill with dried beans to weight it. Bake until puddings are golden, about 50 minutes. Remove weight and transfer ramekins to a wire rack; let cool for about 20 minutes. Remove foil. Unmold onto serving plates.

  5. Meanwhile, whisk yogurt with remaining tablespoon brown sugar and pear nectar. Serve yogurt sauce on the side.

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