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Your Favorite Poached Pear Dessert Recipe

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I want to bring a dessert of some poached bosc pears to a TG dinner I will be attending early evening tomorrow. I frequently eat them for breakfast but cooked real simply--just cloves, no sweetener.

Originally, I was thinking of finishing them off with a saffron syrup or using fennel in some way. Now I am considering something more acidic like using pommegranate juice (or pom. mollases) and a warm spice. Some spices which sound appealing are ginger, vanilla and star anise. But I am nervous about mixing them and don't want to overpower the pear flavor too much. I am also considering wine as a poaching medium.

Open to any and all suggestions, including presentation ideas.

Thanks in advance!


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  1. Poach them in really strong, highly sweetened black coffee with a teaspoon of vanilla. Serve with a drizzle of chocolate sauce.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Deenso

      I suggest something similar. I have poached the pears in a in maple syrup (grade B) sweetened espresso, chilled them, and then served them with a warm raspberry / cranberry sauce lightly sweetened with a hint of Chambord liqueur (or just a bit of sugar), and a dollop of sweetened vanilla whippped cream.

      On the side I served demitasse cups of the poaching liquid served boiling hot. A sweet, black, maple/pear espresso.

      Warm, cold, tart, sweet, and a depth of flavor...mmm.

    2. Try these. The last time I made them, one of my guests took a bite, her eyes widened and a sort of orgasmic "OH!" came from her mouth. I figure that's a recommendation of sorts.

      Poach Bosc pears in red wine until they are *a point*. Drain and cool.

      Prepare the following:

      1/2 cup sour cream
      sugar to taste
      tiny pinch of salt
      1 tsp vanilla
      2 tablespoons Cointreau
      1/2 tsp grated orange rind

      Mix well and allow to rest while the pears cool.

      Prepare red raspberry puree, using 1/2 pint red raspberries, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1 tsp grated orange rind, 2 Tbsp Cointreau, sugar to taste.

      Adjust cream and raspberry puree recipes proportionately if you are preparing more than four pears.

      Just before serving, puddle a tablespoon of the cream on each plate. Set the pear upright on the puddle. Drizzle each pear with another tablespoon of cream, followed by a tablespoon of raspberry puree.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Cristina

        If you can get smallish pears, a plating suggestion: remove the core from the pear with a melon baller, then fill with creme fraiche or clotted cream; cristina's sour cream mixture; or a blend of chopped dried fruit and ground nuts, moistened with a bit of the syrup. Plate with a caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, or just some reduced poaching syrup drizzled over the plate. The filling will provide an nice surprise when your guest spoon into the pear.

        Link: http://seasonalcook.blogspot.com

      2. i do like using ginger with pears, especially if they are ripe and sweet, it gives a nice sweet heat.

        i like to use some sort of alcohol as teh poaching medium. red wine, white wine, last time i used moscato, which was lovely. i add half a vanilla bean, a two-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled, and an orange rind. poach as usual.

        to serve, i like to do a loose mocha/chocolate sauce (along the lines of a belles-hélènes). but a caramel sauce works, too. the flavor of spicy pear and caramel is fantastic. made it for a dinner party and it was a big hit.

        good luck!

        1. Here's a link to my last poached pear outing. Added a bit of cider vinegar to sugar syrup for some acidity, plus figs and spices.

          Saffron syrup sounds very very good with pears. My gut feeling is that pomegranite juice would overpower the pear's flavor as it's quite sour stuff. German riesling makes delicious poaching liquid for fruit.

          Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

          1 Reply
          1. re: petradish

            Agreed that pomegranate might be a bit much for the pears. Perhaps dried cranberries might be a better option?

          2. I generally poach my pears in brandy with gingerbread spices (brown suger, ginger, all spice, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, etc.), reduce poaching liquid to syrup, slice pears and fan out on plate, drizzling syrup and some heavy cream (to take away some of the sweetness) for flavour and effect.

            1. This is my favorite. I've used it many times. Our guests are looking for something light these days; they appreciate that it is not too rich or fattening.

              Poached Pears with Wine - Adapted from Jacques Pepin

              5 pears, medium or large, peeled, quartered, cored (about 1 and 1/2 lbs.)
              (Bartlett pears are best. Bosc or Seckel are okay, will take longer)
              1 and 1/2 cups hearty red wine
              1/3 cup sugar
              Rind of a lemon
              1/4 cup lemon juice
              I added: cinnamon stick, three cloves
              Finely chopped toasted almonds

              Place ingredients (except nuts) in saucepan, bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat, cover
              and boil gently for 25 minutes, less of pears are ripe, more if pears are unripe.
              With unripe pears, may take as long as one hour. Pierce to determine if they
              are cooked through.
              Transfer pears with a slotted spoon to serving bowl.
              There should be about 1 and 1/4 cups liquid.
              Boil and reduce liquid to about 2/3 cup. Add to pears.
              Cool to room temperature.
              Liquid should become syrupy.
              Divide into 6 small, deep dessert dishes. Spoon on syrup. Serve.

              Dress with strips of lemon peel. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.

              1. I am thinking of stuffing them with a mixture of fruits and nuts flavored with saffron syrup and serving with shrikand ("indian dinner for six" was my inspiration for this) as a stand-in for ice cream/ creme fraiche/sauce. If I feel inspired maybe a fig sauce of some sort to go with it.

                THANKS for the ideas. Keep 'em coming ...


                1. c
                  Caitlin McGrath

                  This doesn't fit your current perameters, but you did ask for favorite recipes, and the one linked below is one of mine. I like to use a 70% cocoa content bittersweet chocolate for the sauce. For presentation, I slice the pear halves, pool the sauce on the plate, and fan the sliced half out on top of the sauce. I prefer this served with a good raspberry sorbet rather than vanilla ice cream. The combination of pear, chocolate, and raspbery flavors is excellent.

                  Link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                  1. Has anyone ever poached pears in tea? I was thinking about trying it with some strong and sweetened Earl Grey and serving them with some cinnamon ice cream.

                    1. Peel Bosc pears, slice off the top just above where the bulge begins, hollow out the core with a melon baller, and poach the tops and bottoms in white wine (either a sweet white or a dry white sweetened with honey) until barely done. Lift from the poaching liquid with a slotted spoon, draining the cavities. Fill the cavities with Gorgonzola and attach the tops with toothpicks. Stand upright in the wine and poach for a few minutes more. Transfer the pears to serving plates. Reduce the poaching liquid until slightly syrupy. Drizzle on the pears. Garnish with chopped toasted pistachios. Serve immediately.

                      1. We recently made poached pears with star anise (recipe from Epicurious) and they were wonderful.


                        1. I made all my pears, this year, poached in a medium syrup and a split and scraped vanilla bean. I sliced them in half and scooped out the core. I like some of the serving ideas on this thread. I think I'll open some on Sunday for Grey Cup and use caramel or chocolate along with creme fraiche.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: sarah galvin

                            I think I posted this on some other thread. Probably the Alice Waters' COTM this month. She has a wonderfully simple poached pear recipe which I tweaked a bit. You peel the pears and core the blossom end, leaving the stem on. Poach in water and sugar with juice and zest of one lemon. Poach until tender - 15-40 minutes she says.

                            I had bought a jar of ginger spread and added a heaping tablespoon to the poaching liquid. It tasted really good. I reduced the liquid somewhat.

                            I served the pears with some of the poaching liquid and a mixture which I use all the time these days and which is extraordinarily good: low fat yoghurt beaten together with low fat cream cheese. You'd never know it was low fat. The combo of the cream and the ginger and the unctuousness of the pears was really great.