Spiced Poached Pears

If you have a sweet tooth, and are trying to start that diet again, a dessert of poached fruit is a perfect choice. With no added sugar or crusts, this simple dessert of poached pears is both light and tasty. The pears are poached in an orange and apple juice mixture with spices until the pears are supple and tender. They retain their shape and make for an elegant complement to any meal. Serve a spoon of low-fat Greek yogurt or a dollop of whipped cream on the side for extra decadence. These pears taste great served warm or cold!

Ingredients (Serves 4 dessert size, 8 sample size)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, 2″ each broken in halves, or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 whole Bartlett or Bosc pears

  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 4 oz dark chocolate
  • 2 Tablespoons orange zest
  • 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt or
  • 1/4 cup whipped cream (use coconut cream for vegan)

1. In a pot big enough to hold the 4 pears, mix the juices, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir to mix evenly. 

2. Peel the pears and leave the stems on. Remove the core from the bottom of the pear with the tip of the peeler or melon ball scoop. Once peeled, place the pears directly into the juice mixture to prevent browning. Make a small cover for the pears out of parchment paper. This helps prevent the pears from discoloring. Fold parchment into quarters and cut on an arc to make a circle.

Folding the parchment. Step 1: Taco fold

Step 2: One flag fold to form a partial triangle

Step 3: Fold triangle onto itself to make a smaller and narrow triangle. Repeat a few times until triangle is slender.
Line up parchment in center and cut at rim of pot to make a circle

3. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cover with the parchment paper. Simmer for 25-30 minutes or until very tender. Turn the pears frequently. Be sure to not boil the liquid. 

Set in bowl to cool and reduce juices in pot if desired

4. Transfer the pears to individual serving plates. Optional garnishes are raspberries, orange zest, chocolate, or yogurt. Or whip the cream and serve with dollop of whipped cream if desired. 

If you want to take it up a notch, make a sauce out of the poaching liquid. Remove the cinnamon sticks and reduce the liquid until it is thick and syrupy. Once it’s reduced by half, add the 1/4 cup whipped cream to the sauce and stir in until it looks silky smooth. Don’t add the cream if you are already using it as a garnish, add a splash of orange juice to the sauce instead. Spoon the sauce over each pear and serve immediately. 

Also appropriate for gluten free, lactose free, vegetarian and vegan (without yogurt or cream) diets.

6 servings

8 sample servings

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