Baked pears with brandy make for a simple yet delectable dessert.

Try these baked pears; they’re a minimalist’s dessert — fruit with a hint of brown sugar, butter and brandy. After caramelizing in the oven, they emerge tender and mildly sweet — understated, light and very adult.

Though quite pleasing in their utter simplicity, feel free to add more textures and tastes: Enhance the brown sugar with a little nutmeg and cinnamon. To provide contrast and complexity, include dried cherries or cranberries, cheeses or nuts (the pears in the photo are accompanied by blue cheese sprinkles and candied pecans). Top with whipped cream, vanilla sauce or sweetened Greek yogurt, flavored with brandy, to further complement their subtlety.

With so few ingredients, be sure to use good ones: soft brown sugar, unsalted butter and, most important, a brandy you really love (apple and pear brandies are my favorites for this dessert). It’s also important to use a baking dish in which the pear halves fit closely so they absorb the sugar-water syrup rather than having it evaporate while baking.

Vera Dawson is a high-elevation baking instructor and author of three high-altitude cookbooks (available at Garcia Street Books in Santa Fe). Contact her at veradawson1@gmail.com.