How cute are these mini guys?! We got these Le Creuset Mini Cocottes as a wedding gift and I’m obsessed with them! These were one of the few gifts we got that was not on our registry. There seems to be a great debate out there about registries and the etiquette for veering off-registry with wedding gifts. I’m no expert, but if you have a good grasp for what the couple’s style and hobbies are I think it can be even more meaningful to give a gift of your choosing.
Also, these days, with the way registries are set up online, the couple, if they are impatient 🙂 can see what gifts they are getting from whom. Especially in the case of a wedding shower, this can totally ruin the element of surprise. Don’t get me wrong, registries are super helpful tools both for the couple and for guests, but they do take some of the magic out of gift giving. So, if you are going for that extra special surprise, I think it’s A-Okay to veer off the registry. All that being said, our friends hit it out of the park with these – we (well more I) love them!
Pears are a completely underrated fruit. They don’t really get a defined season of their own like apples and pumpkins where people gawk over them in obsession. They just sort of exist. But I would go as far as to say that I prefer them over both apples and pumpkins and that is especially true when they are baked!
Let’s make these Vanilla Bean Pear Cocotte Cakes!
First, cut the pears in half lengthwise and caramelize them over medium heat in a sugar bath.
While pears are caramelizing, mix together cake batter. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy, add eggs and vanilla bean caviar. Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and sea salt), slowly add dry mixture to mixing bowl, mix until combined. Spoon ¼ of mixture into each greased cocotte. Press 1 caramelized ½ pear into each cocotte face up.
Bake cocottes in oven for 10-12 minutes. Serve warm or cool to room temperature. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon 🙂
- 2 Anjou Pears
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 stick butter
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F
- Heat ½ cup water over medium heat in a skillet or sauce pan
- Whisk in ¼ cup brown sugar until dissolved
- Add 1 tsp lemon juice
- Bring to low boil
- Meanwhile cut pears in half lengthwise, carve out seeds with a small spoon
- Place pears facedown in the skillet
- Cook 15 minutes, checking every few minutes so they do not burn
- While pears cook, grease 4 mini-cocottes (or crocks)
- Fit an electric stand with blade attachment
- Add butter and sugar to bowl, beat on medium speed until fluffy
- Add eggs 1 at a time
- Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise, using your knife scrap the vanilla caviar out of the bean and add to bowl, mix
- In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and sea salt
- Slowly add dry ingredients to mixing bowl, mix until fully combined
- Spoon ¼ of batter into each of the cocottes
- Press ½ pear into each cocotte, pears should be face up
- Place cocottes in oven for 10-12 minutes until cake is cooked through
- Serve warm, or cool to serve later
- Top with whipped cream and cinnamon (optional)