Poached pears

It’s amazing to really utilize fruits with their natural sugars for sweetening things. This recipe is a classic example of just how sweet oranges and pears are on their own—and how much sweeter they get when cooked together. You seriously won’t believe that there is no added sugar, honey, etc. in this recipe.

To really let the flavors sink in, let the pears sit in the liquid overnight, and serve either reheated or cold.

3 cups (750 mL) fresh-squeezed orange juice (no added sugar)
3 cups (750 mL) water
1 2-inch (4 cm) piece ginger, peeled
4 ripe (but not mushy) Bosc or Anjou pears, peeled and cored
5 whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon
~ zest of 1 orange

  1. Place all ingredients in a small saucepan, ensuring that all the pears are completely covered with liquid.
  2. Cut a circular piece of parchment paper that fits inside the 8- or 9-inch (20- or 23-cm) spring-form pan to keep pears from being exposed to air (if the pears are not covered with something—liquid or parchment—they will brown).
  3. Bring heat to a simmer, and let poach in liquid for about 30 minutes or until soft—not mushy.
  4. Remove pears from liquid, and bring remaining liquid to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer, and allow to reduce by ½ to ¾, or until liquid is nice and syrupy.
  6. Remove cinnamon stick and pour syrup over pears and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and/or some orange zest to serve.

Tips & Tricks—A melon baller works very well at removing the seeds and core from the pears. To do so, just insert the melon baller from the bottom of the pear and work your way up to remove all the seeds.