Poached pears have an inherent sweetness and elegance about them. They’re quite simple to make and work on their own as a delightful dessert as well as a sweet addition to savory dishes. To bring out the delicate and distinct flavor of the pears, this gentle cooking technique entails slowly simmering the fruit in different liquids, syrups and spice. The pears become soft and absorb the complimentary flavors of the fluid they are cooked in. The longer they soak in the aromatic syrup after poaching, the stronger they taste, making it excellent for those who prefer to plan and prepare ahead of time. In fact, if kept in their liquid, leftover poached pears can usually be stored in a container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
The choice of pear is of course based on the desired flavor and texture. There are ten varieties of USA Pears, each with its own distinctive color, flavor and texture. With overlapping seasons of availability, USA Pears are in season nearly year-round. Don’t know which pear variety to choose? Learn more about them here or get inspired by the following recipes.
Poached Bosc Pears
Starting with a classic recipe for poached pears, this simple, yet delightful recipe shows how to make the perfect Poached Bosc Pears. Crisp and woodsy with a honey sweetness, bosc pears maintain their distinctive buttery flavor and easily hold their shape. Some lightly used spices enhance this unique dish, making it the perfect dessert both warmed or chilled.
Pavlova Wreath with Cranberry-Hibiscus Poached Pears
This winter-white wreath is almost too pretty to eat. Almost! Cloudlike heaps of meringue are arranged in a circle and baked until shatteringly crisp on the outside, yet chewy within. It’s decorated with tender pears that are stained red in a poaching liquid of tart cranberries and hibiscus tea, reminiscent of glass balls and holiday garland. With their smaller size, Seckel, Forelle or small Anjou pears are ideal for this recipe. The complexity of the flavor is pure magic, and the presentation makes for a dreamy holiday dessert.
Ham and Goat Cheese Sandwich with Bourbon-Masala Poached Pears
Ham and cheese sandwiches just got even better! Start with a strong sandwich base using good-quality Italian bread. Add a smooth layer of a zesty cheese mixture and a slice of ham. Now comes the burst of flavor: Bourbon Masala Poached Pears. These poached pears are packed with the spicy goodness of cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger and bathed in bourbon whiskey. Slice them up and turn a simple ham and cheese sandwich into something incredible!
Espresso and Cherry Poached Pears
Jazz up your dessert game with these poached pears infused with espresso and Amarena cherries. These pears are sweet and soft – fantastic with vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. Not to mention, they look like a work of art on a plate. Espresso, almond extract and cherries not only taste amazing with the woodsy pear but also spread a wonderful fragrance throughout your home.
Pears Poached in Belgian-Style Beer
Pears and beer? It may sound unusual, but trust us, it tastes so good! Poaching pears in wheat beer makes a silky, mellow treat. We recommend Bartlett pears, as they are extremely aromatic and have that definitive “pear flavor.” Once poached in the Belgian-style wheat beer, this pear is a great accompaniment to a cheese board with olives, crackers, and honey. Enjoy!