Marsala-Baked Pears

Drizzled with Marsala wine, this baked dish from the Chez Panisse Fruit cookbook by Alice Waters enhances the natural, mellow sweetness of the pears to produce a rich, yet light, dessert.

6 medium pears (Bosc or D’Anjou)
2 ½ cups Marsala wine
½ cup sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 425°.
2. Slice ⅛-inch off the bottom of each pear so it will sit flat. Arrange the pears in a ceramic baking dish just large enough to hold them snugly.
3. Pour the Marsala over the pears and sprinkle with sugar.
4. Bake pears for about 1 hour, basting them every 15 minutes with their cooking juices. They are done when they can be easily pierced with a knife and look caramelized and golden.
5. Serve the pears on individual dessert plates, drizzled with the juices from the baking dish and with a dollop of crème fraîche or mascarpone alongside.

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