Fine Desserts

The Most Elegant Poached Pears Recipe

4.72 from 7 votes
The best way to eat a pear is to poach it — my elegant Poached Pears recipe takes less than 30 minutes and will wow anyone lucky enough to get a bite.
Two poached pears, one with creme anglaise.

Hi Bold Bakers!

Poached pears are the perfect dessert for a host to prepare. They’re incredibly elegant looking, so luscious and juicy, and possibly one of the easiest desserts to make! In my opinion, it’s one of the best ways to enjoy a firm fruit like a pear — poaching pears make them look and taste delicate.

This poached pear recipe is fairly basic, but it’s made for customization! These beautiful pears can be dressed up or down. You can enjoy them as they are, or add some warming spices to the poaching liquid, like fresh ginger or whole cloves. Personally, I like to top them with my Creme Anglaise

For an added je ne sais quoi, this recipe can also be made using white wine. With or without white wine, the final product looks like it should be served at the finest French restaurants! 

What Are Poached Pears?

Poached pears are simply pears that have been gently poached on your stovetop, typically in a syrup made of sugar and water, but often with wine and other spices. 

Pears, especially winter pears, aren’t known to be 100% delicious 100% of the time, but poaching them really brings out their flavor. The firm texture of this woody fruit is perfect for poaching as well, as they will maintain their shape. 

Poached Pears with creme anglaise poured on top.

What Pears Should I Use For Poached Pears?

If you are poaching pears, you’ll want to use a Bartlett pear. Luckily, Bartlett pears are likely to be the type that your local grocery store carries. They’re very juicy and sweet and perfect for poaching.

Bosc pears would also work well for poaching. They are crisper, almost like an apple, but less sweet. 

What You Need To Poach Pears

How To Make Poached Pears

Poaching pears is a simple and elegant dessert! Here’s how you do it (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):

  1. Heat water and sugar in a large pot. Once the sugar is dissolved, add the cinnamon sticks, orange, and pears into the water.
  2. Cut a circle of parchment paper that is large enough to fit in the pot. Cut a small circle in the middle of this parchment paper for venting. Place on top of the pears in the water.
  3. Keep the water at a very gentle simmer and cook the pears for about 20 minutes (more or less, depending on the pears’ size and firmness.) You know they are done poaching once they are easily pierced through with a knife.
  4. Allow the pears to cool in the liquid. The longer the pears sit in the poaching liquid, the more flavor is absorbed. 
  5. Serve the pears warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream, vanilla crème anglaise, salted caramel sauce, or however you wish!

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Poaching Pears

  • You can replace half of the water with white wine.
  • Instead of an orange, use lemon for a more tangy taste.
  • Try different additions, like warm spices such as fresh ginger, whole cloves, star anise, allspice, or vanilla bean.

Top-down view of elegant poached pears.

How Do I Store Poached Pears?

Store leftover poached pears in their liquid in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can eat these cold or chop them up and add them to your oatmeal! 

Make More Recipes!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

The Most Elegant Poached Pears Recipe

4.72 from 7 votes
The best way to eat a pear is to poach it — my elegant Poached Pears recipe takes less than 30 minutes and will wow anyone lucky enough to get a bite.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 6 pears
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
The best way to eat a pear is to poach it — my elegant Poached Pears recipe takes less than 30 minutes and will wow anyone lucky enough to get a bite.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 6 pears

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts (64floz/1800ml) water
  • 2 1/2 cups (20oz/565g) granulated sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 medium orange sliced
  • 6 firm pears peeled and the bottoms cut flat so that they can stand upright

Instructions

  • In a large pot, heat water and sugar until sugar is dissolved.
  • Place the cinnamon sticks, orange, and pears in the water.
  • Cut a circle of parchment paper large enough to fit in the pot on top of the pears. Cut a small circle in the middle for venting and place it on top of the pears in the water.
  • Keep water at a very gentle simmer and cook until the pears can be easily pierced through with a knife, about 20 minutes (more or less, depending on the size, variety, and firmness of the pears).
  • Let pears cool in their liquid.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream, vanilla crème anglaise, salted caramel sauce or however you wish!
  • Store pears in their liquid in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

 

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Ada
Ada
1 month ago

Hi Gemma, I am your fan. Do I need to peel the orange or do I just slice it and put the slices with skin on into the pot? The recipe does not say. Thank you.

Lloyd
Lloyd
1 month ago

I poach Bosc pears in honey and white wine, and serve with melted blue cheese. I know not everyone likes blue cheese, but the flavour contrasts are incredible. Medium sized Abate pears are nice to use as well providing you can find some that will stand up straight lol. They have a very flowery but delicate flavour.

Cathie
Cathie
1 month ago

If I core the pears before poaching will it affect the cooking time?

Charlotte Childers
1 month ago

The photos look like the pears are peeled but it doesn’t say so in the directions. Are they?

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Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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