Cider Poached Pears

By October 6, 2015

Try this decadent (but easy!) dessert for your next Fall dinner party-- can be made ahead, and makes a big splash with flavor.

 2-3 ripe pears
 2 cups apple cider
 2-4 cups water
 1 cinnamon stick
 pinch of salt
 (for time-strapped prep, an additional 2 cups apple cider)
 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
 2 tbsp maple syrup
 2 tbsp butter
1

Peel the skin from the pears and discard. Slice the pears longways in half, and using a small spoon or melon baller, remove the core and seeds.

2

Bring 2 cups of cider and 2-4 cups of water to high simmer. Add in the pear halves, and make a cartouche: a circle of parchment paper cut to fit right inside the pot (hint-- use the pot's lid to trace) with a small hole cut out in the center to allow steam to escape. Press this right on top of the pears, which will float sightly, to make sure the whole pear gets evenly cooked and not browned (tip from David Lebovitz's recipe.)

3

Cook the pears about 20 minutes, but check after 15: cooking time depends on the pot you use and the type of pears. When the tip of a sharp knife easily slips into the pears, they're done. Remove from the sauce, and either keep slightly warm or cool for later use.

4

If you have loads of time, or are poaching the pears a few hours or a day ahead, then begin to reduce the poaching liquid. Bring the heat up to a simmer, so it bubbles, make sure it's uncovered, and add in the vinegar and the maple syrup. Reduce and reduce and reduce, at least an hour but probably longer.

5

If you're making the time strapped version, then start the caramel-apple cider sauce in a separate sauce pot about an hour or an hour and a half before you start cooking the pears. Bring the additional two cups of cider, the vinegar and the maple syrup to a boil and then reduce heat and thicken. Keep going until it sticks to the back of a spoon. Make sure the heat isn't so high and you keep enough of an eye on it so it doesn't boil over or burn onto the bottom of the pan.

6

When it really makes big, soapy-looking bubbles and threatens to come out of the pan, it's done. While still warm, over low heat, quickly whisk in the butter. This is called "mounting" a sauce, and it will add tons of rich flavor to the caramel-like sauce you've just made. Pour over the warmed pears and serve.

7

If you're making the sauce ahead of time too, and you find it has totally hardened, just add a little warmed water or cider and bring back up to temp over medium-low heat, shaking the pot with a twist of the wrist and an occasional stir until it's liquid again.

Ingredients

 2-3 ripe pears
 2 cups apple cider
 2-4 cups water
 1 cinnamon stick
 pinch of salt
 (for time-strapped prep, an additional 2 cups apple cider)
 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
 2 tbsp maple syrup
 2 tbsp butter

Directions

1

Peel the skin from the pears and discard. Slice the pears longways in half, and using a small spoon or melon baller, remove the core and seeds.

2

Bring 2 cups of cider and 2-4 cups of water to high simmer. Add in the pear halves, and make a cartouche: a circle of parchment paper cut to fit right inside the pot (hint-- use the pot's lid to trace) with a small hole cut out in the center to allow steam to escape. Press this right on top of the pears, which will float sightly, to make sure the whole pear gets evenly cooked and not browned (tip from David Lebovitz's recipe.)

3

Cook the pears about 20 minutes, but check after 15: cooking time depends on the pot you use and the type of pears. When the tip of a sharp knife easily slips into the pears, they're done. Remove from the sauce, and either keep slightly warm or cool for later use.

4

If you have loads of time, or are poaching the pears a few hours or a day ahead, then begin to reduce the poaching liquid. Bring the heat up to a simmer, so it bubbles, make sure it's uncovered, and add in the vinegar and the maple syrup. Reduce and reduce and reduce, at least an hour but probably longer.

5

If you're making the time strapped version, then start the caramel-apple cider sauce in a separate sauce pot about an hour or an hour and a half before you start cooking the pears. Bring the additional two cups of cider, the vinegar and the maple syrup to a boil and then reduce heat and thicken. Keep going until it sticks to the back of a spoon. Make sure the heat isn't so high and you keep enough of an eye on it so it doesn't boil over or burn onto the bottom of the pan.

6

When it really makes big, soapy-looking bubbles and threatens to come out of the pan, it's done. While still warm, over low heat, quickly whisk in the butter. This is called "mounting" a sauce, and it will add tons of rich flavor to the caramel-like sauce you've just made. Pour over the warmed pears and serve.

7

If you're making the sauce ahead of time too, and you find it has totally hardened, just add a little warmed water or cider and bring back up to temp over medium-low heat, shaking the pot with a twist of the wrist and an occasional stir until it's liquid again.

Cider Poached Pears

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