Historically poached pears were served in Europe as a delicacy for their royal families. Typically simmered in wine, they were a welcome sweet treat, easy on the digestion. This recipe calls a syrup made from freshly squeezed organic grapes if you care to add an extra step — or organic grape juice (not from concentrate) to make a naturally sweet, spicy syrup that adds a depth of flavor and satisfaction to this seasonal jewel.
Pears are rich in potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, folate and choline. They are high in sugars, but these are natural sugars which are very low on the glycemic index (6).
Pears are the third most popular fruit in the United States and I can understand why. They are flavorful, juicy and full of nutrients. The many varieties of pears are versatile and may be mixed with other dishes to add texture, moisture and flavor. Pureed pears are an excellent addition to grain-free baked goods as they add moisture, and sweetness without changing the flavor of the dish.
The key to this dish is to cook the pears until they are soft, but not so soft that they can no longer stand up.This recipe will become a favorite in your house, guaranteed! The syrup is so flavorful I use it over other baked goods, yogurt and snacks — if there is any left over.
Poached Pears in Spiced Syrup
- 5 – 6 organic bosc or anjou pears
- 2 – 3 cups of water or enough to completely cover the pears when combined with the grape juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 spent vanilla pods or one fresh pod (where to buy)
- A 3/4 inch piece of fresh ginger peeled
- 4 tablespoons raw honey (where to buy)
- 1 teaspoon stevia extract (optional) (where to buy)
- 2 cups fresh organic grapes pressed for the juice or 1 cup organic grape juice not from concentrate
- Sauce pan large enough to accommodate the pears standing upright
- small melon scoop (where to buy a melon scoop)
- lemon press (where to buy a handheld lemon juicer)
- Squeeze the grapes in a lemon press and save the juice or use ready made juice
- Using the melon scooper, core the pears from the bottom, peel with a vegetable peeler – leaving the stems and set aside
- In the saucepan combine the water, grape juice, cinnamon stick, vanilla pods, stevia, ginger and 2 tablespoons honey
- Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally
- Add in the pears and cover
- Simmer the pears until a knife goes through easily — but they are not too soft — about 20 – 30 minutes
- Remove the pears carefully and set aside to cool
Instructions for Syrup
- Simmer the remaining liquid to reduce by half — about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
- When thickened to a syrup consistency add the 2 other tablespoons honey, remove from heat, remove the stick and pods
- Drizzle over the pears and serve warm (yum!) or refrigerate