Elegant and classy; Poached pears make a beautiful autumn dessert to serve your family and friends during the holidays. And with Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, they are a welcoming alternative to the usually heavier pies and cakes.
It all starts with a flavorful poaching liquid and aromatics to slowly cook the pears in. I used fresh orange juice and honey as natural sweeteners and spiked it with a generous amount of calvados… a wonderfully aged apple brandy. Simmering away in exotic spices of saffron, cardamom, and rosebuds, I couldn’t help but put a Persian twist to this classically French dish.
With an abundant variety of pears, it’s important to use the right type for this dessert. I’ve found that the Bosc or D’Anjou kind hold their shape quite well when poaching, as they have a nice firm texture. Just make sure to use pears that are on the firmer side so they don’t get too soft during cooking.
Serve these beauties with honey-nut granola, and top with a generous dollop of vanilla cashew cream for a dairy-free indulgence. They will surely impress your guests at the dinner table.
Note: To make this dessert non-alcoholic, just replace the alcohol with apple or white grape juice, and omit the honey.