Baked Pear Caramel with Berry Sauce

2 cups sugar, divided 4 firm, ripe Bose pears 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons grated lemon rind V* teaspoon salt 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2 large eggs, lightly beaten Berry Sauce

Garnishes: fresh raspberries, spun sugar

Sprinkle 1 cup sugar in a large heavy skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until sugar melts and turns light brown. Quickly pour hot caramel evenly into 6 (4-ounce) ramekins or custard cups, tilting to coat bottom of each ramekin; set aside. (As it cools, caramel syrup will harden and crack.)

Peel, core, and chop pears. Combine pear, remaining cup sugar, vanilla, lemon rind, and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat 40 minutes or until pear is very tender. Remove from heat, and let cool 5 minutes. Stir in butter, flour, and eggs.

Spoon pear mixture evenly into ramekins, pressing down lightly. Place ramekins in a 13- x 9-inch pan. Add hot water to depth of 1 inch around ramekins. Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Drizzle Berry Sauce onto individual dessert plates; loosen edges of pear caramels with a knife, and invert onto plates. Garnish, if desired. Yield: 6 servings.

Note: To make ahead, cool ramekins to room temperature; cover and chill. Remove from refrigerator let stand 30 minutes. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Invert onto dessert plates.

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Baked Pear Caramel with Berry Sauce

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