Caramelized Pears with Brown Sugar Bacon and Dulce de Leche Ice Cream

I don't normally eat dessert for breakfast. But then this happened.
I made this when the light was streaming in my kitchen window in the early morning. I couldn't resist. And neither could Jay. 
We gobbled it up. 
Technically this is a dessert recipe. But if you want to eat it for breakfast, I won't judge.

When a dessert has contrasts....I am interested. I love the interplay of soft with crunchy, silky with crispy, warm with cold. Of course, that means I get excited about cobblers, crisps, homey pies and such, served with ice cream or gelato. It's got streusel? 
Oh yeah, I'm in.
I had these pears that were almost past their prime and I got the idea to caramelize them, throw in some salty/sweet bacon, and top with dulce de leche ice cream. 
Hey, if you don't do bacon, leave it out. Add some toasted pecans or almonds instead. Don't do dairy? Use vegan butter and a non-dairy ice cream instead. 
Lots of options, so make it your own. It's so easy and so darn good. This would be a great do-ahead dessert for a fall dinner party.

Oh, and today is my mom's birthday. Happy Birthday Mom. 
I love you and am glad we share the thrills of food and cooking.   

Caramelized Pears with Brown Sugar Bacon and Dulce de Leche Ice Cream
Serves 2-3

2 pears, peeled, quartered, core and stem removed*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
2-3 strips thick bacon, brown sugar flavored*
Dulce de leche ice cream or gelato {I used Haagen Dazs}

Cook the bacon in a skillet until browned and crispy. Set aside.
Toss the pears with the vanilla extract and lemon juice.
Melt the butter and brown sugar together in a small skillet over medium heat. When mixture is bubbly, add in the pear quarters and cook, turning occasionally, until softened and caramelized on the outside.
Remove pears from skillet and place into a dessert bowl. Spoon on remaining sauce from the skillet onto pears. Top with a scoop or two of the ice cream and crumble bacon pieces on top. 

*I like to use a small melon baller to remove the pear cores and stems. You can also use a small pairing knife to cut the stem out.

*If you don't find brown sugar flavored bacon or would prefer to make your own candied bacon here's a quick how-to:
Take strips of bacon and sprinkle all over with brown sugar. Lay the sugar-coated strips of bacon on a cooling rack placed on top of a half sheet pan {you can line the bottom of the sheet pan with foil for easier clean up}. Bake in a 350F oven until cooked, crispy, and caramelized. 


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