Salt-Baked Pears

Salt-Baked Pears

The salt crust encasing these pears — a method most often used with whole fish and some poultry — does what salt always does: It amplifies. In this instance, the sweet, juicy peary-ness of the pear. Ideally, these should be slipped into the oven after pulling out another dish in order to minimize time in the kitchen. As a dinner party dessert, it’s a perfect punctuation mark.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 8 persons



  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 275.
  2. Step 2

    In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy and tripled in volume.
  3. Step 3

    Stir in kosher salt, and mix well with a stiff whisk until slightly clumpy.
  4. Step 4

    When too difficult to whisk, use your hands to blend the salt mixture until it becomes uniformly wet, heavy and slightly sticky. In other words, like the worst snow-shoveling day of your life.
  5. Step 5

    With a sharp knife, trim a sliver, as needed, from the bottom of each pear so they stand upright on their own.
  6. Step 6

    Pack the salt mixture around each whole pear, including the bottom, to create a thin and even encasement.
  7. Step 7

    Gently place the pears on a lined baking sheet and bake until golden, about 45 minutes. Use a cake tester to test for doneness, piercing through the very top of the pear at the stem. We like the pears a little al dente — cooked through but with some tooth. We don’t want applesauce.
  8. Step 8

    Pears can be held warm in the oven at the lowest possible setting until ready to serve.
  9. Step 9

    To serve, crack the salt crust and discard. Take care to brush off any clinging salt with a clean dish towel, and serve the roasted pear with wet black walnuts (see recipe).