What if we told you that there is a guilt-free dessert you can make for the holidays? Poached pears are a very simple yet so satisfying dessert that will help you settle into cozy season. Compared to an apple pie, a poached pear has significantly less calories but still brings out the flavors of autumn. Serve it with some fresh whipped cream, vanilla almond granola, and maybe a candied ginger or two.
Cook time: 30 min
For the poached pears:
- 2 pears (Anjou or Bosc pears work best)
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- squeeze of lemon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
For the whipped cream:
- 1 cup (8 oz) heavy whipping cream (refrigerated overnight)
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
1. Peel the pears, leaving the stem intact. Optional: halve the pears and remove the core with a melon baller or paring knife.
2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small pot. Bring to boiling point then keep to a low simmer.
3. Carefully place the pears in the simmering pot. Poach the pears for 30 min or until soft. Use a ladel to gently pour the liquid over the pears, ensuring that it cooks evenly.
4. 10 min before the pears are done, start making the whipped cream. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer on high to whip the cream for 3-5 minutes. Stop mixing as soon as white peaks get stiff and curl back down.
5. Carefully remove poached pears from the pot. Let cool and pour small spoonfuls of liquid on top to keep from drying out.
6. Serve the pears with your freshly whipped cream, granola, and ginger candy. Enjoy!
– When poaching the pears, be very careful not to touch the pear because it can easily get smashed. Try to only touch if needed to readjust its place in the pot, and try to hold it by the stem (it will be hot!)
-This recipe is a very low sugar option. To give this recipe a little zhuzh, use 1 part brown sugar : 1 part water. After poaching the pears, keep boiling the liquid down to a thick syrup, which you can pour on top just before eating.