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Flavorful Fridays: Poached Pears

February 19, 2010

My parents sent us a box of beautiful Harry & David pears for Valentine’s Day. In case you don’t know, Harry & David’s pears are divine! We sliced up the first one like an apple and enjoyed it in its purest form. The next night, I decided we should mix it up a bit. I’ve heard people talk about poached pears, but as far as I know, I’d never eaten one, let alone tried to make one myself. I found a basic recipe on and we broke out the pots and pears to try it.

It was really much more simple to make  than I had anticipated, and poaching the pears brought out flavors that you don’t experience eating them raw. I made a bed of homemade chocolate sauce (whipping cream, melted chocolate, and vanilla extract) and homemade whipped cream for our pears, because chocolate and whipped cream are perfect compliments. We enjoyed this special treat so much, we made it again the next night! Give it a try, and let me know if you have any other “condiment” ideas to pair with a poached pear.

Vanilla Poached Pears

Adapted from


5 cups water

2-1/2 cups sugar

1 lemon, zested

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

4 pears (Bosc or Anjou are best)


Combine the water, sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla bean seeds and pod in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved.

Peel the pears, leaving the stem intact. Slice off the bottom 1/8 inch of each pear to create a flat, stable base.

Reduce heat to keep poaching liquid at a bare simmer and add the pears, so they are almost completely submerged. Cook, turning pears occasionally so they become saturated on all sides, until they are just tender when pierced with a fork, about 7 minutes.

Allow pears to cool in their poaching liquid. Serve immediately, placed upright on the plate, or transfer pears and liquid to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Add chocolate, whipping cream, or any other desired compliment. Serve and enjoy!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Christina permalink
    February 19, 2010 5:58 pm

    Hi Liana!

    I just stumbled on your blog (again) and couldn’t help but read all your posts for this year so far… you’re inspiring me to get back into the kitchen again!

    I love poached pears. Sounds like you and Will are doing (or at least eating) well. 😉 We should catch up sometime!


  2. February 21, 2010 10:15 am

    This looks like an awesome dessert-never been one for poached pears, but your photos makes me want to run to the market for PEARS, love your blog.

  3. Liana permalink*
    February 26, 2010 12:47 pm

    Thanks for the comment, Christina. I’m glad I can help inspire you get back into the kitchen! Will and I are doing and eating well!

    Thanks for your kind words, Linda Lou! If you give the poached pears a try, I hope they turn out better than you expect!

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