Oct 3, 2017

Poached Pears with Vanilla Ice Cream

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
It’s best to start with firm ripe pears for this delicate dessert. As the pears poach, they absorb the poaching liquid and become sweet and tender.

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It’s best to start with firm ripe pears for this delicate dessert. As the pears poach, they absorb the poaching liquid and become sweet and tender. The poaching liquid is a sweet syrup flavored with cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean.

Poached Pears with Vanilla Ice Cream

bosc pear cooking with cocktail rings

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Pears – The best pears to use are Bosc, as they are tall pears with long tapering necks and brown skins resembling a russet potato. They have a firmer texture so after poaching they still hold their shape without turning to mush. They are available from late summer/ early fall through winter.
  • Vanilla bean – In this recipe a vanilla bean is added to the poaching liquid to infuse it with pure vanilla flavor. The vanilla bean is actually the pod from the plant. It can be swapped with 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract if needed.
bosc pears poached in vanilla and cinnamon cooking with cocktail rings

How to Make Poached Pears

  1. Peel and prep the pears. First, peel the pears, leaving the stems on. Next, core them from the bottom, using a melon baller or pairing knife.
  2. Make the poaching syrup. In a large saucepan (large enough to hold the pears) over medium heat, add the cinnamon, vanilla bean, granulated sugar and 1 quart of water and stir to combine. Heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Poach the pears. Add the pears and cover with waxed paper to prevent the pears from discoloring. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook, turning the pears occasionally, until they can be easily pierced with the tip of a pairing knife but are not mushy, about 20 minutes.
  4. Reduce the liquid. Remove the pears from the poaching liquid and add to a large bowl. Then raise the heat of the poaching liquid to high and bring the mixture to a boil until it has reduced to about 1 cup and is thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes.
  5. Serve. Discard the cinnamon and vanilla bean then pour the syrup over the pears. Serve pears with a side of vanilla ice cream.
poached pears with vanilla ice cream

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

  • The pears are covered with a piece of parchment paper while poaching in order to prevent them from discoloring.
  • While they are delicious served on their own, the poached pears can also be used in place of plain pears in muffins, cakes, other desserts or even in salads.

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Poached Pears with Vanilla Ice Cream

Print Pin
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 8 medium Bosc pears, peeled and cored from the bottom
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • cups granulated sugar
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Instructions:

  • Peel the pears, leaving the stems on. Core them from the bottom, using a melon baller or pairing knife.
  • In a large saucepan (large enough to hold the pears) over medium heat, add the cinnamon, vanilla bean, granulated sugar and 1 quart of water and stir to combine. Heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Add the pears and cover with waxed paper to prevent the pears from discoloring. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook, turning the pears occasionally, until they can be easily pierced with the tip of a pairing knife but are not mushy, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove the pears from the poaching liquid and add to a large bowl. Raise the heat of the poaching liquid to high and bring the mixture to a boil until it has reduced to about 1 cup and is thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes.
  • Discard the cinnamon and vanilla bean then pour the syrup over the pears. Serve pears with a side of vanilla ice cream.

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