Easy Pear Charlotte

Prep Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins

Celebrate the holidays with a touch of something sweet made with minimum fuss.


  • 6 tablespoons butter

  • 3 pounds (about 6) Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • Coarse salt

  • 10 to 12 slices firm white sandwich bread, crusts trimmed

  • Confectioners' sugar, for serving

  • cup chilled heavy cream, very lightly whipped with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add pears, sugar, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until pears are very soft and most liquid has evaporated, 20 to 25 minutes; remove from heat.

  2. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter; set 1 tablespoon aside. Working with one slice at a time, brush butter onto bread, and arrange, buttered side down, along the sides of a 5-to-6-cup ovenproof bowl, overlapping slightly. Cover bottom with a single slice of bread. Reserve remaining bread to cover fruit.

  3. Fill lined bowl with pear mixture, mounding in center (fruit will settle during baking). Cover all with remaining bread slices; trim to fit tightly to edges of bowl. Brush with reserved butter, and press in firmly, sealing edges.

  4. Bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 5 to 10 minutes in pan; turn out onto serving plate. Sift confectioners' sugar over the top. Use two large spoons to divide charlotte into pieces, and serve with lightly whipped cream.

Cook's Notes

Place bread, buttered side down, along sides of bowl (overlapping slightly); cover bottom with a single piece of bread. Press in firmly.

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