Poaching Pears

This recipe sat in the binder for slightly more than a year (since April 19th, 2013 to be precise) for a couple reasons: one, it is a dessert recipe and those tend to sit longer with me. Two, this involves one of, if not the most, expensive spice – saffron. So, I didn’t really want to break it out except for company. But pretty much all of our company has been in numbers larger than 2 guests – and I am not peeling more than 4 pears. Not when I need to coordinate more dishes. But it was getting to be that time – that time when I really need to make it or toss the recipe. Especially since I’d passed my (entirely arbitrary) deadline of one year (well… two? but just for desserts, I swear). I did cut the recipe in half for this test run though – only two pears to peel that way and no leftovers.

Still no photos I’m afraid – replacing the camera is going to be waiting for a bit. But if I’d had one, y’all would totally get to see Adam’s food bliss face.

These are a bit cloying, but that’s kind of the nature of poaching something in a sugar syrup. So, deploy judiciously 🙂

Poach Pears in Saffron Syrup

serves 2
Original from The Spice Bible
Recipe Count – 2 left
Section Count – Dessert Binder:  1 more left (a bread pudding), Subsection – Misc: 0! All done.

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp grated orange peel
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 pears
  1. Combine the vanilla, saffron, sugar, orange peel and water in a large sauce pan and mix together. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
  2. While the syrup comes to a boil, peel the pears.
  3. Once the syrup is simmering, add the pears and cover the saucepan. Cook until tender when tested with a skewer or knife, about 12-15 minutes. Turn the pears over with a slotted spoon about halfway through cooking. Once cooked, remove from the syrup with a slotted spoon, set aside, and cover to keep warm.
  4. Allow the syrup to come to a boil and cook uncovered until it has reduced to your satisfaction (about 8-10 minutes to reduce by half. If you want the sauce to thicken a lot, try whisking in some cornstarch (I have not tried this myself yet – let me know how it turns out in the comments if you do, please?).
  5. Slice the pears, arrange on a plate, and spoon the sauce over the slices.

Serving suggestions: over ice cream or with whipped cream on the side.

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