Poached Spiced Pears

Pears are a wonderful late-summer and fall fruit. They are available for most of the winter since they keep well under refrigeration. If the skin is left on, they have loads of fiber and taste terrific.

Serves: 4Hands-on: 15 minutesTotal: 1 hour 5 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 4


  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 4 ripe pears, peeled, halved, and cored
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick (4")
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 strip lemon peel
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise


  • Rub the lemon juice on the pears.
  • In a saucepan, combine the sugar and water and heat over low to dissolve the sugar. Add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, lemon peel, and vanilla bean and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the pear halves to the simmering liquid and place a piece of parchment paper over the surface of the liquid. Poke a few slits in the paper to let steam escape.
  • Simmer the pears until tender for 20–25 minutes. Poke them with a paring knife to test for tenderness.
  • Remove from heat and let pears cool in poaching liquid. Refrigerate in liquid until ready to serve.