Preheat oven to 375ºF and butter a baking dish with the tablespoon of butter.
Whisk the cider, maple syrup, lemon juice, cardamom, vanilla bean seeds, and salt together in a measuring cup.
Peel the pears and slice them in half from top to tail. Use a pairing knife to carefully remove the cores, but leave the stems attached for presentation if you like.
Arrange the pears, cut sides down in the baking dish and pour the cider mixture over the top. Bake the pears, basting occasionally, until softened and the juices in the pan have reduced to a few tablespoons and have started to caramelize at the edges, 40-50 minutes depending on the size and ripeness of the pears.
Yossy Arefi is a photographer and stylist with a passion for food. During her stint working in restaurant kitchens, Yossy started the blog Apt. 2B Baking Co. where, with her trusty Pentax film camera, she photographs and writes about seasonal desserts and preserves. She currently lives in Brooklyn but will always love her native city of Seattle. Follow her work at apt2bbakingco.blogspot.com & yossyarefi.com.