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Katie's Cucina

Gingersnap-Caramel Pear Parfaits

This is the last recipe given in the “meal set” from the awesome Cassoulet-Style Italian Sausages and White Beans I blogged about last week. I love caramel and pears and figured I would definitely go along with the dessert recipe that Pam wrote about. I made this dessert prior to dinner and let it cool in the fridge. I definitely did not leave enough time to let the pairs cool and because of this a lot of my whipped cream had semi-melted! I also did not have any brandy on hand, so I skipped that part! As Pam writes “If you like, omit the brandy; the moisture from the cream will soften the cookies.“. *I cut the recipe in half since I was only entertaining for 4. The recipe I’m blogging about is for 8 people. 

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 40 minutes

Serves: 8


  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup packed dark or light brown sugar
  • 4 firm but ripe Bartlett pears, halved and cored
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 6 tbsp brandy or cognac, divided 
  • 40 small gingersnap cookies.


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degree. 

2. Melt butter in a 13-by-9-inch pan in oven until nutty golden. Sprinkle brown sugar over butter, then place pears, cut side down, on sugar. Bake until pears are tender and sauce is thick and caramel-colored, about 40 minutes. Remove pears from sauce and pour sauce into a measuring cup (you should have about 1 cup; if not, boil to reduce or add water to equal 1 cup). Cool pears and sauce to room temperature. Cut each pear half into 8 chunks. 
3. When ready to assemble, whip cream to soft peaks in a medium bowl with an electric mixer, gradually adding sugar. Stir in 2 tablespoons brandy or cognac. 
4. Lightly brush 24 gingersnaps with some of the remaining 1/4 cup brandy. Arrange 3 cookies in each of eight goblets (I used white wine glasses). Drizzle each with a little of the caramel sauce and add a dollop of whipped cream and 4 pear pieces. Lightly brush remaining 16 cookies with brandy and repeat layering with 2 cookies in each goblet, caramel sauce, whipped cream, and 3 pear pieces. Repeat again with remaining caramel sauce and whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 and up to 4 hours. When ready to serve, garnish with remaining pear pieces and a final drizzle of sauce.

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4 Responses to “Gingersnap-Caramel Pear Parfaits”

  1. judee@glutenfreeA-Z posted on December 9, 2010 at 11:40 pm (#)

    These desserts look fabulous. I love the combination of ingredients..pear, gingersnap, and caramel.. yum..

  2. Debbi Does Dinner Healthy posted on December 10, 2010 at 1:23 am (#)

    What an elegant looking dessert! I love it! Thanks!

  3. Lisa posted on December 10, 2010 at 1:05 pm (#)

    So fancy and elegant! I bet this is fabulous!


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