If there is one standout ingredient we can’t seem to get enough of this fall, pears would have to be it. While apples and squash have essentially laid their claim as the “It” fruit and vegetables of the season, respectively, pears have arguably remained the underdog. Well, not for long.
This year, we’re in full support of embracing the fruit in all its glory, in a unique form that promises a welcome departure from what you may normally expect. The fruit’s distinct flavor qualities earmark it as a surefire essential for both sweet and savory recipes alike. Slice pears into thin slivers and mix in with your go-to salad or allow it to stand alone as the grounding ingredient of a plate.
When it comes to the latter, there is one prime form that takes on a highly elevated finish, albeit it’s one that requires much less effort than you might expect. The technique is an age-old one, typically reserved for eggs or fish—yep, we’re talking about poaching. While you’ve undoubtedly come across a poached pear in some shape or form, it’s an idea you may have been hesitant to try for yourself. Not if we have anything to say about it. Ahead, a deep-dive into the world of poached pears and all the mouthwatering ways you can cook with fall’s star ingredient.
How it Works
First things first: how does one exactly poach a pear? While there are various takes and renditions, the underlying element remains the same: you simply simmer the pears in a sweet (usually alcoholic) liquid.
Typically, you would begin with the base, which is often comprised of sugar, wine, and various spices. After bringing the mixture to a boil, you add the pears and reduce the heat to a simmer. Being mindful of turning them every couple of minutes (to ensure an even coating), keep the pears semi-submerged and allow them to simmer for about 15 minutes—this will usually vary by recipe.
Easy enough? Let’s move on.
Now that you’ve mastered the art of poaching, here’s how to put your practice into play.
Poached Pears in Elderberry Juice with Homemade Vanilla Sauce
This one definitely falls under the less traditional side of things—color and flavor included. Poached in a sweet elderberry sauce, this rendition of the dish features a broad spectrum of dynamic notes not limited to cinnamon, star anise, and juniper berries. Set atop a creamy vanilla sauce, the dish, as a whole, is about as dynamic as it gets.
Get the recipe on Our Food Stories.
Poached Pear Tart with Vanilla-Champagne Custard & Almond Flour Crust
We don’t know what we love more here: the mulled wine and champagne-poached pears or the champagne custard set atop the made-from-scratch almond crust. Either way, this almond-flavored tart beautifully incorporates a slew of contrasting ingredients, each of which results in an indulgent yet light finish.
Mini Poached Pear Cardamom Cakes
Personalized cakes are perfect for intimate dinner parties, after all, who wouldn’t want their own plate of this deliciousness? Cardamom is yet another ingredient that encapsulates the season’s quintessential flavor book and this clever recipe certainly makes the most of it. Loaded with spice, the pears are poached in a white wine sauce and paired with a maple-cream sauce that’s too good for words.
Chocolate Tart with Chateau St. Jean Cabernet Sauvignon Poached Pears
Red wine and poached pears were essentially made for one another. Aside from the beautifully saturated hue that results from the process, the in-depth flavors truly contribute to the dish as a whole. Paired with a generous dollop of fresh, whipped cream, the final product here is pretty legendary.
Jasmine White Wine Poached Pears
News flash: Poached pears are delicious enough to have on their own, sans the superfluously decadent pairings. This easy-to-make rendition relies on the boldness of the vanilla and white wine to further transform the fruity base into a deliciously sweet post-dinner treat.
Get the recipe on La Crema .
Ginger Cake with Salted Caramel Poached Pears
File ginger under yet another ingredient we can’t get enough of this season. Paired with poached pears, the combination is simply divine and boasts the ever-so-slightest hint of spice. If the lush and creamy ginger cake isn’t incentive enough for you to whip this heavenly confection up, we don’t know what is. Finished with a thick, caramel drizzle on top, consider this your ultimate fall dessert.
Get the recipe on Sugar et al.
Gluten-Free Sweet Amaranth Waffles with Spiced Chai Poached Pears
Feeling a more down-to-earth approach? This brunch-friendly version allows a spiced chai blend to serve as the poaching liquid for the pear. Paired with the Amaranth waffles, the mix is hearty and spicy, with a delightfully decadent twist.
Spiced Poached Pear Chocolate Cake
Calling all chocolate fiends—this is the recipe for you. While there is never a reason to not have chocolate cake, this one provides a refreshing twist on the classic with an appropriately-seasonal twist. Between the crunchy top crust and hint of orange by way of the pears, this fruitful rendition surely delivers.