Making dessert isn’t always easy, but these poached pears are one of the most simple and delicious desserts that you can make, and best of all, they can be made 2 or 3 days ahead of time! These are perfect for a dinner party or a casual get together, and if you’ve never served poached pears before, prepare yourself for quite a treat. I didn’t think that these would be all that special, but I had never made them, so I figured I’d give it a go, and honestly, I could have eaten at least two all on my own. Not only are these great for after dinner, but they pear beautifully with more savory dishes, too – for example, I made a sharp cheddar grilled cheese with some sliced poached pears that were absolutely fantastic, or you could top a pork dish or your favorite salad with chopped poached pears. The sweet and salty combination is always a winner, believe me. The flavor of these poached pears only gets better the longer that you let them sit in their syrup, and speaking of the syrup, it makes for a great cocktail pairing or as a sweetener for your club soda. I’m going to try poaching all kinds of different fruits now, but I think that the classic poached pear may always be my favorite.
Peel your lemon and juice it.
Combine your poaching ingredients in a pot and simmer until the sugar has dissolved.
Peel the pears and add them to the pot.
Simmer for 20 minutes or so, until tender. Pour into a container with the liquid and refrigerate until cool.
Serve with some of the liquid and enjoy.
- 3 semi-ripe pears (I recommend Bartlett pears)
- 3½ cups water
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- rind of 1 lemon
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 whole star anise
- Peel your pears as evenly as possible and set aside. In a pot that will just fit the 3 pears, combine the water, sugar, vanilla, lemon rind, lemon juice, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and star anise. Place over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, then add in the pears. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes or so, until a knife or fork easily punctures the pear; just be careful not to overcook the pears.
- When they are ready, place the pears and and their liquid in some Tupperware or a bowl and allow the pears to cool for an hour or two, until cool enough to eat. You can also make these up to 3 days in advance - they only get better the longer that they sit in the refrigerator. I made these 2 days in advance and they were fantastic.