Brandy hard sauce (with pear and sour cherry brown betty)

2 servings
20 min
25 min
Very Easy


Number of serving: 2
12 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar

1/4 cup Cognac or brandy

Pinch of grated nutmeg

3 tablespoons Cognac or brandy

2/3 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 1/2 cups white bread

7 tablespoons unsalted butter

Grated zest of 1 lemon

2 pounds ripe pears

3 tablespoons hard cider


  • To make the hard sauce, in a medium bowl set an electric mixer on high and beat the butter until fluffy.
  • Reduce speed to low and add confectioners sugar. When the sugar is incorporated, set the speed back to high.
  • Add the brandy 1 tablespoon at a time and beat until combined. Beat in the nutmeg.
  • Transfer the sauce to a ramekin or bowl, cover and refrigerate.
  • Hard sauce can be made at least a week ahead, but allow it to come to room temperature before serving.
  • To make the brown betty, heat the Cognac or brandy in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the liquid has come to a simmer, turn off the heat and add the cherries. Allow them to absorb most of the liquid, about 20 minutes.
  • While cherries are standing, heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the sugar mixture for sprinkling. Add bread, butter and lemon zest. Toss until sugar has dissolved and bread is completely coated.
  • In a shallow 1 1/2-quart gratin dish on top. Cover with a cup of bread crumbs and sprinkle with 1 1/2 tablespoons cider. Layer remaining pears, cherries and bread. Sprinkle top with remaining cider and reserved sugar-and-spice mixture.
  • Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Take off foil and continue baking, until crumbs are golden brown and pears are very soft, about 15 minutes more. Serve warm with dollops of hard sauce.


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