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Pear au Gratin

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4 very ripe pears, peeled, halved lengthwise and cored
3 ounces day-old French-style bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup pecan halves
Sour cream or whipped cream


You can make the topping out of left-over cakes and cookies, just eliminate the butter and sugar. The pears should be very ripe. Since the fruit is peeled, Jacques Pepin suggests buying fruit that is almost over ripe or damaged. This type of fruit tends to be sweeter and juicier.

  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  • Cut the pears lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices, and arrange them in one slightly over-lapping layer in the bottom of a 6-cup gratin dish.
  • Break the bread into the bowl of a food processor, and process it until coarsely chopped. Add the butter, sugar, and pecans. Process until the mixture is mealy, and then sprinkle it evenly over the pears.
  • Bake at 375ºF for 30 minutes, until the topping is nicely browned. Allow to cool slightly.
  • Serve the pears lukewarm, with a little sour cream or whipped heavy cream, if desired.

Serves 4

Adapted from Jacques Pepin’s Table: Today’s Complete Gourmet by Jacques Pepin: James Connolly, Copyright 1995 Jacques Pepin -
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