Cooking From Memory ~ A Recipe Journal

Poached Pears with Blueberries


Poached Pears and Blueberries

Ingredients ~

  • 4 cups water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 lemons
  • 4 firm but ripe pears such as Comice, or Bosc, or Bartlett, preferable with their stems attached
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • Freshly whipped cream

Method ~

In a large saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and the juice of 1 of the lemons.  Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Working from the bottom of each pear, carefully remove the core, cutting no farther than three-fourths of the way toward the stem end.  Do not remove the stem.  Peel the pears and, if necessary, cut a thin slice off the bottom of each pear to make them stand upright.

Place the pears in the syrup, return the pan to the heat, and quickly bring back to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer until the pears are tender when pierced with a sharp knife, 20-25 minutes.  Turn the pears at intervals so they cook evenly, stay moist, and do not turn brown.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a dish to cool.  Reserve ½ cup of the syrup, refrigerate the remaining syrup for another use.

In a saucepan, combine the blueberries and the ½ cup reserved poaching syrup.  Place over medium heat and bring just to a simmer.  Reduce the heat slightly and simmer uncovered until the berries are tender, 10-15 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

When ready to serve, transfer the pears, stem side up, to individual dessert plates and spoon the blueberries around them.  Drizzle some of the blueberries over the pears, as well, if you like.  Remove the zest from the remaining lemon: using a zester or fine-holed shredder, and holding the lemon over each pear, shred the zest (yellow part only) from the skin evenly over the top.

Stir the whipped cream sauce and spoon a little over each pear.  Serve remaining cream sauce in a bowl at the table.

~~ From the Simple Classics Cookbook, Williams-Sonoma

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