Classic Poached Pears
Versatile poached pears can be served for dessert or as an accompaniment to a savory appetizer or entrée.
1 pound Bosc or Anjou pears
1/2 cup granulated sugar, or to taste
2 cups water
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
- Peel pears leaving the stem intact, but carefully using a melon baller remove the blossom end and scoop out the core if desired. Rub the pears with a cut lemon to prevent the flesh from discoloring.
- In a saucepan which will hold all the pears standing upright, heat the sugar with the water, vanilla bean, lemon rind and juice until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and add the prepared fruit. Make sure the fruit is completely covered by the syrup, if not double the recipe for syrup or prepare the fruit in two batches.
- Bring the fruit almost back to a boil and poach gently about 20 to 25 minutes until the fruit is semi-transparent and just tender when pierced with the point of a small knife. Cooking time will vary depending on the ripeness and variety of the fruit.
- Let the fruit cool to tepid in the syrup, then transfer to serving bowl or plate. Boil the syrup down until it's fairly thick and about half of it's original volume. (The more you reduce it though the sweeter and more concentrated the flavor of the syrup will be.) Strain syrup and pour over fruit. Serve cool or chilled.
Makes 4 servings.