When my Mom and Dad came for dinner a few weekends ago, I knew I had two more willing guinea pigs for a dessert I have wanted to try for ages. I have had an abundance of pears lately, thanks to Shawn (my veggie guy!) and had just enough ripe ones to experiment with poaching pears. I have read recipes that peeled them and left them whole, and ones that peeled and halved them. I opted for the halved version, as I wanted to try different toppings, and this gave more pieces to experiment with! I would have to say this was definitely a recipe worth repeating. It was easy, delicious, and a very elegant looking dessert. We tried topping the pears with 1: plain yogurt, 2: vanilla yogurt, 3: sour cream and 4: vanilla ice cream. We also sprinkled some organic maple flakes on top of each of these. All I can say is WOW! Each topping was fantastic in its own way, and I am not sure which if any was “the best”. I would say to use whichever one sounds good to you, as they were all winners in my book, or leave them as they are in a little pool of the poaching liquid.
8 pears, peeled, halved and cored (I used Bartlett, use your favourite!)
3 cups of poaching liquid (I used part apple juice and part apple cider)
½ cup brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks (around 3” each)
Optional: Topping of your choice (we tried plain yogurt, vanilla yogurt, sour cream, and vanilla ice cream)
In medium pot, bring poaching liquid, brown sugar and cinnamon sticks to a boil.
Reduce heat to simmer, and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Carefully place pears in hot liquid, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove from liquid with slotted spoon and place on serving dish.
Spoon some poaching liquid over top, and if desired top with one of the optional toppings.