Martha Stewart's Favorite Recipes

Pear Down Betty

With its fruity notes, our Italian Rosé Sparkling is the perfect partner to this delectable fruit dessert.


  • 1 lb. loaf of sourdough bread, crust removed, torn into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 8 (about 3 3/4lbs.) Bartlett pears


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place bread on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake stirring halfway through, until golden brown, 10-15 minutes. Let cool completely. Transfer to a plastic bag; seal bag. Coarsely crush with a rolling pin so that the largest pieces are the size of peas.
  2. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Remove from heat. Stir in breadcrumbs, sugar, spices, salt, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cider, and the lemon juice. Let stand 10 minutes.
  3. Peel pears; cut into 1/2-inch chunks. Place a heaping 1/2 cup pears each in 6 small pie plates or ramekins. Top each 1/4 cup breadcrumb mixture; drizzle each with 1 tablespoon of cider. Top with remaining pears, then with remaining breadcrumb mixture.
  4. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper; cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover, bake until top is browned and juices are bubbling, about 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack 15 minutes before serving.

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