Baked Vanilla Pears with Figs


Serve this easy-to-prep dessert on a chilly night.


  • 1 vanilla bean

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

  • ¾ cup water

  • 3 firm Bartlett pears

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 dried black mission figs


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Split vanilla bean lengthwise and set one half aside. Scrape seeds from other half into a small saucepan, and add the pod, 1/4 cup sugar, and the water. Bring to a boil, then simmer 10 minutes to infuse vanilla flavor into syrup. Strain and set aside.

  2. Peel pears, and cut in half lengthwise, leaving stems on. Cut out core, scooping out a little extra flesh. Trim off a little flesh on round side so that halves will lie nicely on a plate.

  3. In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and stir until melted. Add pears, cut side down, and cook until brown, shaking pan occasionally. Turn over and cook a few minutes more. Transfer to a baking dish, and pour vanilla syrup over pears. Add other half of vanilla bean. Slice figs lengthwise and put 1 or 2 slices in center of each pear. Spoon a little syrup over figs and bake until soft and tender, about 30 minutes, depending on ripeness of pears. Serve hot or warm.

Cook's Notes

Look for dried figs that are soft and moist.

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