Poached pears are a delightful and elegant dessert that highlights the natural sweetness of pears in a tender and flavorful preparation. With minimal ingredients and gentle cooking, you can create a luxurious dessert that is both visually stunning and delicious. The ripe pears, simmered in a spiced syrup, absorb the fragrant flavors while maintaining their shape and texture. Whether served warm with a drizzle of syrup, paired with ice cream, or added to yogurt, poached pears offer a burst of fruity goodness that will satisfy your palate. Embrace the simplicity of making this sophisticated dessert and savor its deliciousness with every spoonful.
Easy Poached Pears
- 1 saucepan
- 3 cups liquid (wine, fruit juice, or water)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar (more or less depending on how sweet you want them)
- 1 cinnamon stick (or other spices like whole cloves, star anise, cardamom seeds, etc.)
- 1 vanilla bean (split)
- 1 slice lemon or orange peel (no pith)
- 4 lb pears (peeled, cored and cut in half or whole—I recommend Flemish Beauty or firm Bosc/Bartlett pears)
- In a large sauce pan or sauté pan, combine the liquid (whether wine or juice) and water with sugar and spices, vanilla bean, and lemon peel. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. The sugar should dissolve before you proceed with the rest of the recipe.
- Add the pears to the hot poaching liquid, and bring back to a boil again. Cover with a round of parchment and weigh everything down with a lid or a plate so that the pears are immersed. Reduce the heat so that the poaching liquid is just simmering. Poach the pears for 10 to 15 minutes. The pears should be tender but not mushy when they are done. Whole pears could take as much as 45 minutes. You can use a pairing knife to gauge how cooked the pears are: you should be able to easily pierce the pear all the way through when the pears are done.
- Strain the pears into a large container, then let the poaching liquid cool completely. Transfer the liquid to the container with the pears, cover, and let the pears soak for to absorb more flavour. Alternatively, you can strain out the pears and boil down the syrup to serve with the pears.
- Use red wine for a more robust wine flavor, a light rosé or white for a milder taste
- Use maple syrup or honey instead of granulated sugar; feel free to use less sugar in the recipe if you want it less sweet.
- Use any sweet, warm spices you like, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, star anise, cardamom, etc.