Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray one 2 quart baking dish or one 10-inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Pour and spread caramel topping to cover bottom of dish. Sprinkle pecans around the outer edge of caramel topping to make a 1-inch border, reserve 1 tablespoon of pecans.
Spoon reserved 1 tablespoon pecans over center of dish. Cut pears into 1/4 inch slices; arrange over caramel topping and pecans with small ends toward center.
In medium bowl, combine bread mix, water, oil and egg. Stir with spoon until mix is moistened. Pour batter slowly over pears and pecans; carefully spread to cover.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Loosen cake from sides of pan and invert onto serving plate leaving pan over cake for 1 minute. Carefully remove pan. If any topping remains in pan, spoon over cake. Cool for 30 minutes; top with ice cream if desired.