Halve pears lengthwise; remove cores with a small melon baller or small
spoon) Place sugar on a plate.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Press cut side of each halved pear
in sugar. Place sugared, cut side down in skillet. Cook until beginning
to brown, 7 to 8 minutes. This will carmelize the sugar.
Add 1/2 cup water. Cover; simmer until pears are tender, 5 to 10 minutes
(depending on how ripe your pears are). Add more water if sugar begins
to burn. Remove pears from skillet.
If liquid in pan is thin, simmer until thickened to a saucelike consistency;
if it is thick, add more water. Serve sauce over pears.