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Nov 23, 2005 08:59 AM

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.


      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.


          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.