Poached Pears

December 31st, 2007


Many years ago, when my family was in Italy, we roamed Florence with the restaurant suggestions of our travel agent, who prepared a very helpful booklet of museums, churches and restaurants for us to visit.  Most nights, we stuck to their suggestions.  But one night, for some reason, we just wandered, and picked a place that looked (and smelled) delicious.  Not surprisingly, it was the meal that we all still remember, years later, from our trip to Italy.  But the best part of the meal, and the dish that enticed us into the restaurant, was its beautifully displayed poached oranges.  Since then, every time poached fruit (nearly always pears) appear on a menu, I order them.  But the time had come for me to make my own.

And, of course, when I finally tried my hand at them, they came out elegant and beautiful, with minimal fuss.  They take a little time to make, but are really simple and doesn’t need to be tended to constantly, so you could easily set them over the stove, make another dish, and come back to them in your spare moments. Also, I made the pears and sauce a day ahead, and then reheated just before serving. They turned out great — better, in fact, I think, because the pears were just full of flavor from resting in the syrup overnight.


Poached Pears

2 1/2 cups red wine
2 cups water
1 1/4 cup sugar
8 bosc pears, peeled with stems intact

1. In a large saucepan or dutch oven, combine the wine, water, sugar, and pears.
2. Bring the liquids to a light boil and boil for 15 minutes. Remove pears, and set aside. Boil remaining liquids for an additional 10 minutes, or until liquid is reduced by half.
3. Pour reduced sauce over pears and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
4. Just before serving, place pears and sauce into a large saucepan and heat thoroughly, about 10 minutes.
5. Place pears into bowls to serve, and spoon sauce over them. Serve.

Serves 8.

Tags: desserts · food

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ann // Dec 31, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    Mmmm… I love poached pears and never make them. Why is that? I’d make a statement about trying it soon but I am avoiding resolutions of any kind today. 🙂

    Happy New Year!

  • 2 MrsPresley // Jan 1, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    you know… i have never had a poached pear before?! they sound so good and yours are beautiful!

  • 3 Katie // Jan 2, 2008 at 8:55 am

    I seriously love poached pears! One of my favorites ever. A little lavender vanilla custard is always a good pairing as well.

  • 4 katy // Jan 2, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Ann — good plan!  I totally forgot to make resolutions, so me too. 🙂

    Mrs Presley — thanks!  They were a little hard to photograph, but they tasted delicious!

    Katie — yum!  that sounds delicious.

  • 5 Susan // Jan 3, 2008 at 2:22 am

    Fruit desserts are my favorite, and pears must be my favorite dessert fruit. Lovely! Happy New Year!

  • 6 Adele // Jan 4, 2008 at 8:55 am

    Hmm. Sounds like you’d love slow-poached quince, if you have yet to try it. Did you know that they turn a brilliant shade of red after several hours of cooking?

  • 7 katy // Jan 4, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Susan — thanks!

    Adele — Oh that sounds great — I’ve never cooked with quince before, but I’ve wanted to try for a while!

  • 8 Cakespy // Jan 5, 2008 at 12:06 am

    These poached pears are S-E-X-X-Y, as They Might Be Giants would say. And surprisingly not that hard? Mine probably wouldn’t look as good as your s though!

  • 9 katy // Jan 7, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Cakespy, I promise, they’re SO easy to make.  Just remember to turn them once or twice while they’re sitting overnight, to make sure you don’t have only one side soaking up the color!  Although, honestly, that would be kind of cool-looking too….

  • 10 Jitterbean Girl // Oct 26, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    I made these this weekend to put on a salad and they were terrific!  Thanks for the great (and super simple) recipe!

  • 11 A fall harvest feast | Om nom sauce // Aug 26, 2012 at 8:55 pm

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