Pears are in high season at the farmers market in France over the past few months. Over Thanksgiving when I was in Maine, we had dinner with friends who made a lovely dessert of Poached Pears. They are light and perfect for winter post-meal, especially with a dollop of ice cream or fresh whipped cream. By cutting the pears flat on the bottom, you can stand them up on a plate. You can make it a day or two in advance and given the simplicity of the recipe yet elegant presentation, it’s great for dinner parties. If you have extra sauce, you can also save it and pour it over yogurt.
You can also use red wine and the peaches turn a beautiful rouge color, but I personally prefer white wine since I find it to be lighter and more delicate in flavor.
Honey Poached Pears
- 4 large pears, peeled, stems intact
- 1/2 cup of mild honey
- 1.5 bottles of white wine
- Half a fresh lemon squeezed
- 4 springs of fresh rosemary
- 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 5 cloves
- 8 black peppercorns
- 2 sticks of cinnamon or 2 tablespoons of cinnamon powder
In a large pot, put all the ingredients together and ensure that the pears are snug. Put it on moderate heat and simmer until you can put a fork into the pear (20-25 min). Do not cover. Take the pears out and put them on a plate.
Strain the liquid into a pot and discard all the spices. Reheat the liquid at high heat to reduce for 10-15 minutes. The liquid should be light and syrupy. Allow the liquid to cool slightly, then pour over the pears when you serve with ice cream.