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Spiced Poached Pears

Here’s an elegant dessert that will show off your homegrown harvest. Poached pears make for a light and refreshing dessert—you might want to make enough for seconds!

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Spiced poached pears

Spiced Poached Pears

Here’s an elegant dessert that will show off your homegrown harvest. Poached pears make for a light and refreshing dessert—you might want to make enough for seconds!

  • Author: Norann Oleson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6 1x
  • Category: Desserts

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Water to cover pears
  • 4 to 6 firm pears with stems; Bosc, Bartlett, Anjou, and Comice are good choices
  • 1 cup white wine (champagne is fine, too)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Peel of 1 orange, cut into pieces
  • 2 whole cloves
  • Mint leaves for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine lemon juice and enough water to cover pears.
  2. Core the pears from the bottom using a corer or melon baller. Peel the pears and keep the stems intact.
  3. Trim the bottom of each pear so it can stand upright when served.
  4. Put the pears in the water and lemon juice mixture to keep them from browning while you prepare the poaching liquid.
  5. In a large pan that can hold all the pears either upright or on their sides, add the wine, water, and sugar, and bring just to a boil.
  6. Add the salt, vanilla extract, cinnamon stick, orange peel, and cloves.
  7. Arrange the pears in the poaching liquid; add more water as needed to just cover them.
  8. Cover the pan with a small lid that will hold the pears fully in the poaching liquid.
  9. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the pears, turning them occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes or until the pears are tender (Use a thin-bladed knife to check doneness. The blade should slide in easily.). Do not poach for too long—pears can soften quickly into mush.
  10. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the pears to serving dishes.
  11. Cover pears with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to serve them.
  12. Strain the cinnamon stick, orange peel, and cloves from the poaching liquid; reserve the orange peel. Increase heat to medium-high and boil the liquid for about 30 minutes—until the liquid is reduced to 3/4 to 1 cup and slightly syrupy (watch carefully so it does not burn). Remove from heat and refrigerate sauce until you’re ready to serve.
  13. To serve, pour approximately 1/4 cup syrup over each chilled pear. Garnish with the orange peels (they are now candied and can be eaten) and a sprig of mint leaves.

Have you tried this recipe? It’s so easy and delicious—please tell us how it turned out for you.

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