I once was told that poached pears were a favorite in Italy. No matter… I know they are a favorite around here. I love to make these beauties for breakfast as well as serve them as a lovely dessert.
Pears are super versatile. They are perfect in savory sauces to serve over quail and other birds, and added to puréed soups adding a touch of sweetness. Pears are exceptional as a stand alone dessert as well as incorporated into cakes and pies.
I’m lucky to live in the South where most fruit trees grow quite easily.
This year my pear tree has produced more than adequate fruit and my kitchen counters are overflowing.
Since my trees are hybrids, I pick the fruit from the trees as soon as the first ones fall to the ground then allow the fruit to “age” for about 10 days to get the best texture and flavor. If you are familiar with your tree, you don’t have to wait for the fruit to fall, just pick to about 10 days before it becomes ripe each year. If you want to “keep” your fruit, they will last in a 60 degree cool, dark space for up to 2 months.
I have an abundance of pears this year so I’m poaching them using many different methods on the stove and in the oven. I’m excited to share with you one of my all-time favorite ways to poach pears! The results are beautiful, and extraordinarily flavorful.
The Orange Honey Glaze enhances the flavors of the poached pears and only takes minutes to make. Orange and Honey are made for each other. This sauce is amazing on poultry for a savory alternative.
1. Be sure to baste the pears frequently to preserve the color of the pears.
2. It helps to have the pears fit snugly together.
3. Use pears that hold their shape such as Bartlett Pears, Anjou, or Bosc.
4. If you are poaching a lot of pears, after peeling place the pears in cold lemon water to keep their color while waiting to poach.
5. Different pears will cook at different rates depending on size, type, and ripeness. You will know they are done when a knife pierces easily into the pear.
I love serving the pears in COLORFUL BOWLS. I’ve been studying color lately and noticed that in the photo I have paired the light green/yellow pears with navy bowls and a dark green mint leaf. If you look at the color wheel, yellow and blue are directly opposite from one another meaning that they are the perfect compliments of one another. RED would be pretty too.
Butter, for greasing casserole
6 ripe pears
1 cup orange juice
1 cup water
¼ cup of honey
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Zest of 1 orange
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a casserole just large enough to hold the pears.
Peel pears leaving stems. Slice bottom of pears flat so it stands upright. With a melon baller, scoop out the inside of pears through the bottom and remove seeds. Stand pears upright in casserole.
Add orange juice and water to the casserole and bake the pears for about 40 minutes or until you can pierce with a fork easily. Baste often (every 5 to 10 minutes).
Transfer pears to a plate. Leave the oven on. Pour juices into a bowl and add honey, cinnamon, vanilla, and orange zest. Mix well. Place pears back into casserole and drizzle honey mixture over pears. You may not need all the mixture. Place pears back into the oven for 5 more minutes.
To plate: Stand a pear in a bowl. Garnish with mint leaves. Serve with the honey mixture and your favorite chocolate sauce and whipped cream.