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Nathalie Dupree prepares a quick and easy side dish or dessert option with fresh pears.

Whether casting around for something sweet at the end of a meal or hoping to put pears or apple to good use, this makes a terrific addition to a meal. Years ago I made this for some friends when they came in from out of town late in the evening and just wanted “something” to eat. They still remember and remark upon it as it just hit the spot, as it does for us so often. Look at the suggested variations to spruce it up a bit. — Nathalie Dupree

Ingredients

1 pear or apple

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions

Leave the peel on the fruit or remove it, according to your preferences. Cut into wedges, removing seeds. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a medium-sized sauce pan. Add the wedged fruit and saute briefly, lightly browning if desired. Pour on the heavy cream and let the juices stew a bit with the cream until both are slightly caramelized and the cream is thickened. Remove to a bowl and serve.

Variations

Add 1 quarter-sized slice of candied ginger, finely chopped, with the cream.

Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of cinnamon to the fruit before adding cream and toss together.

Add a tablespoon of a favorite liquor such as pear liquor, calvados or even bourbon to the pan and cook quickly until slightly reduced before adding cream.

Nathalie Dupree is the author of 14 cookbooks, including the James Beard award-winning “Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking.” She lives in Charleston and may be reached through Nathaliedupree.com.