I like pears!

Okay, maybe I should preface that by saying that normally, I do NOT like pears. Maybe it’s just awful memories of elementary school cafeteria lunches with horrible mushy enchiladas and a side of canned pears. Yuck! They’re grainy, they’re soft…they’re like apples that have just gone amiss. I’ve always wanted to snack on a fresh pear. It just looks so cool to hold a perfect pear and take a big bite out of it. But ew.

My pear horizons have been widened, though. I remember eating a burgundy-poached pear with some sort of fancy cheese on our honeymoon, and I think I liked it. And my friend Lindsay has made poached pears, I think, and I think I liked those, too. So I decided to bring the pears into my home and poach them myself.

How simple! How fantastic! How yummy! This recipe just amazes me, because it doesn’t call for any special wine, not even any sweetener…it just seems to bring out all the goodness in pears that has been hiding from me until now. The texture is perfect: soft enough to eat with a spoon, but not soft enough to remind me of grade school. I served the pears with a couple of tiny scoops of Stonyfield Farm Vanilla Frozen Yogurt (in itself a great find, with it’s not-too-yogurty-taste and 0 grams of fat), which was lovely. But even better, the next day, I drizzled them with chocolate syrup. What fruit is not made better with a bit of chocolate? What food, for that matter?

At any rate, here is the recipe that changed my life. Well, it changed my attitude toward pears, at least.

Poached Pears

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1 (3-inch) piece lemon rind
  • 2 large pears, peeled, halved, and cored

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Add pear halves; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes or unti tender. Remove pear halves with a slotted spoon; discard liquid. Place pears in a large shallow dish; cover and chill.

Makes 4 servings.

Adapted from Cooking Light magazine, April 2000.

10 responses to “I like pears!”

  1. Has anyone ever been arrested for poaching pears out of season? We’re safe now tho so I’ll put it on my to make list.

  2. How ironic. I have a cooked pear phobia, and I don’t like anything on my pears, but I love pears “raw.” So we’re opposites. This, however, sounds delicious. I may confront my cooked pear phobia head on and try this.

  3. geez-o-pete!
    if you could just STOP posting recipes that I MUST TRY SOON, maybe I could catch up and make some of them…

  4. Yes, it was me who made you pears, and you did like them (or pretended very well.) But that recipe was extremely complicated (….cored and stuffed with dates, raisins, lemon rind, sugar that were put in the food processor first and then baked). Your recipe, on the other-hand, is simple and looks fabulous! I’ll have to try this so I can put my too-complicated recipe back on the shelf.

  5. Yum! I am intrigued. I will have to try making this. i wonder what would happen if I added a bit of rum to the liquid… Thank you for sharing this!

  6. I too have bad childhood memories about pears. Too many stories to list (and I’m not kidding!), but I think I’m grown up enough to give them another go. Poaching them and serving them with cream just may be the ticket. Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. This sounds yummy! I really miss American pears. Here we have La France which I believe to be a kind of European pears, but when I’m unlucky, I get the ones that are rock-hard and tasteless. This recipe will make even such pears taste real good. I’ll give it a try sometime soon.

  8. Hi again!
    Today I tried out this recipe and fell in love with poached pears! Thanks a million for sharing the recipe.

  9. I’m so glad you tried it! I couldn’t believe how easy and delicious it was. You and me and pears…now we’re all friends. 🙂

  10. I like pears too! Especially poached/baked, they turn incredibly sweet!! And I also like to eat them raw, when they are crispy and sweet and crunchy at the same time!
    I am glad you liked your pears, they are really good paired with ice cream, and I bet, as you said, even better with the chocolate!
    I like your blog, come visit mine too! :o)

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