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To poach a pear

My mother is usually the one who makes poached pears. I have a photo of her in an old family album, holding a platter of them. By the length of her hair, I’m guessing that the year was 1982. My father must have snapped the picture as they were leaving for a holiday party. That was the kind of thing he liked to do. She’s standing in the wood-paneled den of the house we lived in until I was 13, wearing what appears to be a sand-colored fur jacket. She must have curled her hair with hot rollers, because it sits on her shoulders in soft loops, and where she’s pinned it back above her left ear, you can see the sparkle of her earring. Her eyes are lined in dark pencil, and her lipstick is as red and glossy as a Robert Palmer girl’s. She’s staring at something just beyond the camera, probably waiting for the flash to go off. The platter is in front of her chest, tilted slightly downward, so you can see the pears in neat rows. For her, that’s clearly what the photo is about: a dozen pears standing upright, each carefully peeled, poached, painted in dark chocolate, and topped with a sprig of fresh holly leaves. I like that for my father, the photo is clearly about her.

I had never poached a pear until yesterday. There’s no real reason - though I guess it’s that, for many years of my life, poached pears were a grown-up thing. They were the dessert that my mother would make for parties, or for dinners with guests who arrived after I’d gone to bed. The fact that the pears weren’t for me should have made me desperate to have them, but the truth is, even with their chocolate coating, they were fruit, and as anyone who’s been a kid can tell you, fruit isn’t a real dessert.

Of course, I’m older now than my mother was when I was born. I’m old enough to poach a pear.

My mother was in town last weekend. On Saturday morning, we went to the market, and because we needed apples for an escarole salad at Delancey, we went to see my friend Wynne. Wynne happened to have some nice pears, so when we left with our box of apples, we also took the four Purple Goddesses up there in the first photo, and a Comice. But I wasn’t thinking yet about poached pears, or about the picture of my mother. That’s not how things work. It was only today, a day after they were made, as I sat down with a bowl and a spoon and the last pear with chocolate sauce, that I realized there was nothing original about what I was doing, that I thought of my mother in her curls, with her silver platter. She went home on Sunday, but I know she would approve.

I can’t remember what recipe my mother uses for her pears, though I think it involves red wine. For mine, I credit Nigel Slater. His books are what I pick up first when I need an idea, and that was the scene yesterday, when I noticed that my pears were rapidly veering toward overripe. He has a number of poached pear recipes, including one that uses Sauternes and one that uses maple syrup and one that’s to be served with pomegranate sorbet, but I chose the version on page 1017, because it came with the following enticement: "...[T]he pears are poached in a light sugar syrup till almost translucent and the chocolate comes in the form of a warm, flowing sauce." Warm, flowing sauce!!! DING DING DING.

As poached pear recipes go, this one could be called plain: just pears, water, brown sugar (or golden caster sugar, if you have it), a vanilla bean, and lemon juice. But what I like about it is that you wind up with a poached pear that tastes intensely of pear. The end. You could add some spices or switch out the water for wine, of course, but then you’ve got a whole other experience. The point here is the pear itself, soft enough to cut with a spoon. Once you’ve got that, you put it in a bowl, and then you make a chocolate sauce - a ganache, really - with cream, a little coffee, and a sliver of butter, and while it’s still warm, you spoon it on top. You can take it from there.

But I should also tell you about something I noticed today, when I ate the last pear. I warmed the leftover chocolate sauce, but the pear was still cold from the refrigerator, and as it turns out, that’s a very, very nice combination. The sauce cooled immediately when it hit the pear, and rather than being thin and fluid, it turned to something like well-stirred sour cream, or a very smooth toothpaste. I know that sounds revolting, but it really feels terrific when your teeth sink through it. Think frosting. In any case, it’s not my mother’s pear, but it’s elegant in its way. I like it very much.

Poached Pears with Warm Chocolate Sauce
Adapted from Nigel Slater’s Tender, Volume II

Any good, ripe pear should work here, but I particularly like Comice.

Note that the chocolate sauce below is actually half the amount of Slater’s original recipe. (His uses 200 grams of chocolate, and so on.) When I tried his recipe, I used only three pears, and in the interest of not wasting ingredients or having a lot of leftovers, I decided to make a half batch of the chocolate sauce. l found that I had more than enough to go around, so I’ve typed up the recipe that way. It should be fine for four pears. But if you want to be guaranteed a real abundance of chocolate - and I wouldn’t blame you - you might want to double the quantities.

100 grams (½ cup packed) golden brown sugar
1 liter (about 4 ¼ cups) water
1 vanilla bean, split
A squeeze of lemon juice
4 plump, ripe pears

For the chocolate sauce:
100 grams dark chocolate (I used Scharffen Berger 62%), chopped
1 Tbsp. strong black coffee
90 ml heavy cream
A small knob of butter

Combine the sugar, water, vanilla bean, and lemon juice in a medium (3-quart, let’s say) saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and leave to simmer gently. Meanwhile, peel the pears, cut them in half from stem to blossom, and remove the cores with a sharp knife and a teaspoon. Slip them into the simmering syrup, and let them cook gently until they are tender to the point of a knife. You’ll see that as they cook, they begin to look somewhat translucent, more yellow than white. That’s what you want. They should take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to cook, and if some are ready before others, just lift them out and transfer them to a plate. When all the pears are tender, take the pan off the heat, put back any pears that you’ve taken out, and leave them to cool in the syrup.

When you’re ready to eat, put the chocolate into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan with the coffee and the cream. Warm slowly over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate has melted. Once the chocolate has softened, stir until it is very smooth. Then stir in the butter. Remove the pan from the heat.

Drain the pears, and put them in bowls or a serving dish. Serve with the warm sauce alongside, so that each diner can pour on as much as he or she wants.

Note: Any sauce left over can be warmed gently in a microwave - be sure to give it a stir every 10 seconds, and don’t let it get too hot - or over a double boiler.

Yield: 4 servings


Anonymous Amy Worline said...

My grandmother loved pears, and I have a few ripening in my fruit basket. I will surprise my darling eight year-old girl with your poached pear dessert this Friday night, and I'll tell her a little about her great-grandmother, who died when she was a baby. And thank you, dear Molly, for always using correct punctuation. I wish you would publish the very last sentence of your post on facebook so everyone could finally learn how to correctly use "it's" and "its". You are a food and word genius. P.S. I still have a signed copy of Natalie Goldberg's "Writing Down the Bones" waiting for you on my bookshelf. I will send it to you this week, I promise!

9:44 PM, December 07, 2011  
OpenID withlit said...

I bought pears this evening! Now I know what they're in for.

9:50 PM, December 07, 2011  
Anonymous Amy said...

What a beautiful post... always inspiring, molly. My favorite part of this was how that photograph was about the pears or your mom, depending on who you are. Lovely.

10:00 PM, December 07, 2011  
Blogger Amanda said...

Those sound so elegant and delicious!

10:30 PM, December 07, 2011  
Blogger AppleyEverAfter said...

One of the best posts you've made in a long time. Great job and have a lovely holiday.

10:49 PM, December 07, 2011  
Blogger Pia said...

It's a cold morning here, but one of the first things I did was read your warm, warm post. Perfect.
I could see your mother, all dressed up and holding her queued-up pears.
I've never tried to poach pears, but I will now.

1:18 AM, December 08, 2011  
OpenID crumblyplum said...

I've just discovered your blog...it's lovely! I just bought Nigel Slater's Tender Volume II yesterday and am in love with it, so it's rather funny that I found your post about his pears today...through a totally different avenue. I look forward to reading moreof your blog...

1:41 AM, December 08, 2011  
Anonymous lauren@spicedplate said...

That photo is stunning -- and this recipe, too...I love how delightful the simple sweetness of a fruit can be when paired with chocolate. Thank you for sharing your stories, always.

2:22 AM, December 08, 2011  
Blogger hannahalehandra said...

Sounds delicious. So simple and perfect. I love how you described the photograph of your mother, you have such a way with words, Molly. Thank you.


3:29 AM, December 08, 2011  
Anonymous A Plum By Any Other Name said...

There is something decidedly grown up about them, I agree. I usually poach my pears in spiced red wine. (Which usually coordinates with me having opened a bottle of red a few days prior.) I have never thought about adding chocolate to the mix. I'm quite sure it would be good though. I may just open a bottle tonight ...

4:49 AM, December 08, 2011  
OpenID lacaffettierarosa said...

My dad was the one poaching fruit: he'd always use wine and a lot of spices. My mother hated it, but she loved simple pears poached in sugar and water. Your description of the picture brought me back to my childhood memories, my parents getting ready for a party, my mum beautiful with her curls and a makeup she rarely wore.

Isn't the combination of vanilla and pear just made in heaven?

4:58 AM, December 08, 2011  
Blogger Oahu2Ozona said...

That's so sweet! I make poached pears all the time that leave people with that "you must have slaved away, these are so adult" look on their face. Hahaha! But they are delish--especially if you're a pear lover like me :)

5:08 AM, December 08, 2011  
Blogger Bow Street Flowers said...

Isn't there a new dog sniffing around the kitchen? Did I dream this?

5:28 AM, December 08, 2011  
Blogger Laurel said...

Sounds wonderful! I love your new banner! I recently came across Nigel's book...I had just been complaining to my husband about the fact that there are so few vegetable books that have recipes for non-vegetarians. And then I saw his. It is not yet mine but I have great hopes that it soon will be. Thanks for this beautiful post.

5:52 AM, December 08, 2011  
Blogger Anna said...

Molly - your words and photographs are so beautiful. I love the descriptions and the colors and now I need to try these pears.

5:57 AM, December 08, 2011  
Anonymous Robin (Hippo Flambe) said...

I love poached pears, I have my very own favorite recipe and I agree, a perfectly ripe pear tastes more like a ripe pear then it did before poaching.

6:37 AM, December 08, 2011  
Anonymous Jen said...

I love thinking about my parents, how they are in love, and their life before me (or before I remember their life). How lovely to remember that photo of your mother with the pears--perhaps we are all hitting the age where we sort of realize we are adults (finally). Kind of a weird stage, but comes with big rewards.

6:45 AM, December 08, 2011  
Anonymous ruthie said...

Nigel Slater is the best. I would totally marry him but I dont think he would have me. I love the photography in his books too. so swoonworthy.

7:02 AM, December 08, 2011  
Anonymous Judi said...

What a warm, lovely thing to read on a cold morning. Thank you, Molly.

7:35 AM, December 08, 2011  
Anonymous Jeanne said...

Those Purple Goddesses are stunning. I've never poached a pear, or eaten a poached pear, but I'm definitely old enough. Thank you for the inspiration!

7:41 AM, December 08, 2011  
Anonymous Victoria said...

I started poaching pears a few years ago when I discovered Poire Belle Helene in Nigella's How to Eat, one of my favorite books. It's a lot like this recipe but topped with vanilla ice cream. That can't be a bad thing, can it?

Nigella says she believes Ralph Waldo Emerson was being optimistic when he said "There are only ten minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat." So poaching one into a state of deliciousness that is hardly ever tasted when eating one out of hand is a very good thing.

Happy Hols.

7:49 AM, December 08, 2011  
OpenID lizlemonnights said...

I've never poached a pair either, for fear of "messing it up." Random thoughts of overcooking it, or it tasting mealy has kept me away from such a lovely looking dessert. But, now you've given me the courage (promise of chocolate = courage in my book) to do so, and hope to do it this weekend. Thank you!

8:06 AM, December 08, 2011  
Anonymous Andrea said...

my mom also has a thing for poached pears. her grandmother clipped the recipe from some grocery store magazine, i think. your version sounds delicious (with chocolate!), but in case you're ever up for a variation, thought i'd share ours: we also poach the pears in red wine, like your mother, but the topping is what makes it: 1 part ricotta and 3 parts vanilla bean ice cream. with more of the wine sauce on top, for good measure. so good!

8:22 AM, December 08, 2011  
Anonymous Sophie said...

I'm dying to see the picture of your mom! I also want to try this recipe because all too often poached pears don't end up tasting like pear anymore...so what's the point. This is a must try for me!

9:11 AM, December 08, 2011  
Blogger teryll said...

I'm not even a "pear" person and this sounds so good!

9:22 AM, December 08, 2011  
Anonymous Kate @ Savour Fare said...

It must be the season. I poached pears this weekend too (and previously I had only poached pears for French pear tart, which is a divine use of poached pears.) I poached them in some moscato d'asti, planning to serve them with gingerbread or rice pudding, but we ended up eating them on their own, with creme fraiche.

9:27 AM, December 08, 2011  
Blogger gila said...

loved this post - thank you so much! also digging the new(to me) photo at the top of your blog. Thanks & have a great one!

9:38 AM, December 08, 2011  
Anonymous Roberta said...

I love pears, more so than apples. I use a pear liqueur for a holiday cocktail called a Solemn John. I love both the name AND the drink. I also love a good still life of pears and your photos are beautiful. The Solemn John is 1 1/4 oz Bourbon (I use knob creek), 1 oz pear liqueur, 1/4 oz simple syrup, 3 or 4 oz half and half with a sprinkling of cinnamon on top. I found it in a magazine and have been enjoying it.

9:48 AM, December 08, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

My mother used to poach whole, cored pears, stuff the core with cream cheese, and pour chocolate over the whole thing. Only for dinner parties - as they were a bit of work. I still think about them, but haven't found the energy to try it myself.

9:49 AM, December 08, 2011  
Blogger Amanda said...

So lovely.

10:11 AM, December 08, 2011  
Blogger Emily Baird said...

You should post the picture of your mother! It sounds so beautiful!

10:20 AM, December 08, 2011  
Anonymous Beth said...

Pears for me were like imagined food till I came to Seattle. I am still learning to get used to them, work them into my seasonal expectations. I haven't tried chocolate yet, and I will, but last year bay leaf cream was so nice.

11:27 AM, December 08, 2011  
Blogger caroline said...

Do you save the poaching syrup? As I plan out making this I'm thinking it would be good in a mixed drink, especially if it tastes faintly of the pear.

12:05 PM, December 08, 2011  
Anonymous Lisa said...

I agree so much with everyone who has said what a warm lovely thing it is to read this post. Thank you for such a nice gift on this chilly afternoon.

I too love thinking about photos of my parents when they were just barely grown up, or when they were grown with kids but doing something non- kid oriented ... I wonder what those times made me anticipate about my own growing up ... and what sorts of similar images or recollections our little dude will have about us.

1:00 PM, December 08, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post reminds me of a dessert my mom would sometimes make in Sweden in the 1970's. She would take canned pears and put "after eight", the mint chocolate thins on top and put it in the oven long enough for the pear and chocolate to get warm. Your recipe sounds much tastier. It might be pretty for the holidays to sprinkle some crushed candy canes on top. I very much enjoy your writing and your recipes. Thanks! Cecilia

1:25 PM, December 08, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you know if Tender vol2 will be out with US measurements soon? I have US published Tender vol1 and would love to get vol2 if it were published over here.

1:47 PM, December 08, 2011  
OpenID girlseeksplace said...

What a beautiful post. I look forward to receiving your posts in my e-mail because they add a little bit of sparkle to an otherwise ordinary day.

2:15 PM, December 08, 2011  
Anonymous kale @ tastes good to me! said...

Ooh sounds like you made Poires belle-Hélène! This is my father-in-law's all time favorite dessert and I snuck into his long-time good graces by making it! I love impressive desserts that aren't overly complicated. Thanks for the post!

2:18 PM, December 08, 2011  
Anonymous martina said...

No photos of my Mom (a fabulous cook) with her cooking, we were all in too big a hurry and waiting for her to put the platter on the table.
Check out that popup store where the old Ballard Library was. They have tons of new cookbooks for sale!

4:12 PM, December 08, 2011  
Blogger Claudia said...

Just delicious, though I was hoping to see that photo of your mother, you did such a lovely job of describing it anyway.

5:12 PM, December 08, 2011  
Blogger Denise | Chez Danisse said...

Such a beautiful post. I love the story, especially your description of the photograph and the way it tells us about the relationship between your mother and father. The photographs are absolutely lovely. And, I really want a bite of the pear in your last photograph. You inspire.

5:12 PM, December 08, 2011  
Blogger Molly said...

Hi, all...

Love all of your poached pear thoughts! Thank you.

Bow Street Flowers, there is indeed a second dog in our house. Her name is Alice, and she's about 11 months old. Our vet is fairly sure that she's a wirehaired pointing griffon, and we think so, too. She's pretty terrific.

Caroline, I stupidly threw out the poaching syrup yesterday, but I should have saved it! I think it could be great in a cocktail...

Anonymous, a US edition of Tender, Volume II is being published soon, yes. It'll be called Ripe. The publisher actually contacted me recently to ask me to provide an endorsement! I was absolutely stunned! Floated on a cloud for about a week...

5:57 PM, December 08, 2011  
Blogger mummydinosaur said...

My mum used to make pears with chocolate sauce for her dinner parties and curl her hair with hot rollers before going out as well - thanks for the wave of nostalgia that swept over me reading this lovely post. Now I must go find some pears and chocolate....

6:00 PM, December 08, 2011  
OpenID thesecretlifeofmrsbundt said...

I had the most wonderful pears poached in riesling and covered in a caramel sauce at a B&B this summer. Reading this made me want to make them for myself. Thanks for sharing! Loved the book!

6:32 PM, December 08, 2011  
Anonymous DessertForTwo said...

Lovely story about your parents :)

6:34 PM, December 08, 2011  
Blogger Katie said...

Can't wait to try this! I'd have to say the only time I've poached pears was in a red Lambrusco wine. I simmered the wine and pears with cinnamon, ginger, clove, and a bit of honey and then reduced the sauce when the pears were ready....oh. my. god. I want to put that stuff on EVERYTHING. Give it a try!

7:29 PM, December 08, 2011  
Blogger tawc said...

i also credit Nigel with a many a delicious recipe; i also credit my ma, despite her disdain for pears (the grainy-ness bothers her), for a mad pear up-side down cake that would, in a come-about-way, make Nigel swoon. Lovely photos as always

9:23 PM, December 08, 2011  
Anonymous Mel said...

That sounds beautifully, Molly! You and Nigel Slater are two of my food heroes.

On the subject of poached pears, I like mine poached in red wine with cinnamon, star anise, lemon juice and sugar - with a dollop of ice cream, or poached in marsala. I have bookmarked your recipe to try next... Love the comforting quality of poached pears!

11:13 PM, December 08, 2011  
Blogger Zee said...

I love your photography! Please share a photography tutorial with us. Thanks!

12:43 AM, December 09, 2011  
Anonymous Tracy said...

I loved how you described that photo, that moment.

8:53 AM, December 09, 2011  
Anonymous Andrea G in Morgan Hill, CA said...

Oh, please don't post the picture. Imagining it as you describe it is so wonderful; the real thing should be for you alone -- with your audience just doing the imagining.

Thanks Molly...

12:26 PM, December 09, 2011  
Blogger Anne said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:27 PM, December 09, 2011  
Blogger Claudia said...

I poach pears with wine and spices regularly - it's an Italian thing and required when September comes around. But this simple recipe - perfect for a pear-loving heart and then chocolate sauce... chocolate sauce? How sweet that it. And you must know we would all love to see that picture. Or maybe - we're seeing it already.

5:23 PM, December 09, 2011  
Blogger Run Fast Travel Slow said...

I love the simplicity/elegance of your photos... and you can never go wrong with a chocolate ganache!

5:59 PM, December 09, 2011  
Blogger Annie said...

Your reference to toothpaste in the last paragraph made me spit my tea out because I laughed so hard! You are the best. The best!

9:40 PM, December 09, 2011  
Blogger Hannah said...

I absolutely love poached pears! I often have them with Greek yogurt and honey as a quick breakfast.

This recipe looks deliciously decadent!

1:33 AM, December 10, 2011  
Anonymous molly@mollysmenu said...

I applaud your writing here. Details, like those of your mom's curls and earrings, really make this come to life. I went out and bought my own bag of pears this afternoon I was so persuaded to make this recipe!

4:23 PM, December 10, 2011  
Blogger GG said...

I've also just made poached pears for the first time, but I've used a traditional red wine recipe. There is something magical about the wonderful colour the pears take up and the burst of sweet vanilla as you bite into them. GG

12:40 AM, December 11, 2011  
Blogger henzy said...

Lovely post.. you really have a way with words..
I know what you mean about the grown up part.. i look at my toddler and realize that i too am now a grown up..
I have honestly never eaten a poached pear.. I have had poached peaches which my mother would make. I will try this one day very soon. The weather is just right.
It better now really be like toothpaste and sour cream!

5:07 AM, December 11, 2011  
Blogger the starving student said...

I love the idea of using water instead of wine and allowing the pear flavor to be star. With the chocolate, it sounds like the perfect combination!

1:18 PM, December 11, 2011  
OpenID lovingsimplemoments said...

I just finished reading your book, and I must say that I have recommended it to all my friends as a must-read! :) Your writing style captured me instantly, and I love how you described your fond memories of family, friends, and food with such heart. (I must admit that I teared up as I read about your last memories with your father). SUCH an amazing read, and I'm so happy that I can read more on your blog!

1:51 PM, December 11, 2011  
Blogger Nicole said...

Molly, the description of your mother in the photograph is so amazing. I can feel the love between your parents, and picture them both so clearly, without even seeing the photo.
My mother use to make ginger pear pickles, a recipe I would like to revive soon for my blog. They were one of her favorite recipes, and she would can them, sitting the pears upright in the jars next to cinnamon sticks.

10:12 AM, December 12, 2011  
Anonymous Lori said...

Poached pears -- food as art!

5:02 PM, December 12, 2011  
Blogger Urban Girl said...

What a beautiful story. I make Barefoot Contessa's pouched fruits for the holidays and as gift to friends... but I had never thought of having it with chocolate. I look forward to trying your recipe.

7:25 PM, December 12, 2011  
Anonymous Rosy said...

I adore vanilla-bean-poached pears with cinnamon sugar marscapone!

12:45 PM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger ahasnat41 said...

I like it.

1:45 AM, December 14, 2011  
Blogger Anne Zimmerman said...

I'm a huge fan of Melissa Clark's recipe for poached pears (it uses maple syrup). I'd never fancied poached pears -- they seemed so healthful! -- but boy, they are divine.

10:19 AM, December 14, 2011  
Blogger Kitchen Vignettes said...

I love your description of the photo of your mom with the pears. You are such a beautiful writer!

10:39 AM, December 14, 2011  
Blogger sweet and lovely crafts said...

What a beautiful blog. A fellow blogger just recommened that I read your book. So I picked it up and you had me at the first page. I was smiling as I was reading it- I knew it was going to be a delightful book. I am so happy to see that you have another one coming out! Something to look forward to after I finish this one.

6:17 PM, December 14, 2011  
Anonymous Tammy Cannon @speckleofdirt said...

...and sometimes it's in the activity of writing, that the words orchestrate themselves into something memorable and resonating and alive. I'm looking forward to your next book. It will be what you hope.
~Speckle of Dirt

2:05 PM, December 15, 2011  
Anonymous Jill Mant said...

I too wish you had posted the picture of your mom and I too have pears I must do something with. Additionally, I had a slight kitchen mishap last night and the fudge brownies I made, while delicious, were uber soft and runny. I'm thinking Poached Pears on a pedastal of gooey fudge brownie! Thank you Mooly!

8:41 AM, December 16, 2011  
Blogger Brenda Sloan Stevens said...

GAGHHHHHH!! I have four Comice sitting on my counter. Must...have...poached...pears...

You just changed the shape of my entire day. Drool, drool.

Can't wait for the next book, Molly. Be brave. We are all out here waiting to catch it in our arms and give it a big hug.

9:40 AM, December 16, 2011  
Blogger ctussaud said...

For something very different, poach them in coffee. When these were cooked for me, I could not work out what the poaching liquid had been!

11:29 AM, December 18, 2011  
Anonymous A Brown Table said...

Molly, I love poached pears, they are so simple but make such exquisite and elegant desserts.

12:06 PM, December 19, 2011  
Anonymous Tilly said...

Stewed pears in ice cream (all blended together - a great way to eat them!

3:05 PM, December 20, 2011  
Blogger Eva / Sycamore Street Press said...

This looks wonderful. A more grown up version of a dish I learned while living in Belgium. (That version uses canned pear halves, then simply warms up the syrup from the can with some dark chocolate until melted to spoon over the top.) Can't wait to try it!

5:33 PM, December 23, 2011  
Blogger robyn said...

Molly - I read this lovely post shortly after it was published and filed it away (knowing I would want to come back to the recipe). I just opened it up again and was surprised to see that the picture of your mom was not there. When I first read your description of her I created such a vivid image of what she looked like holding that platter of pears that I found it hard to believe I never actually saw the photograph. Your description is beautifully written - no photo necessary. Anyway - I do have a question. Would you store the pears in their liquid or remove them before refrigeration. I'm wondering if the liquid would affect their texture after a day or two.

12:55 PM, January 05, 2012  
Blogger Molly said...

Robyn, thank you! And as for the pears, it should be fine to store them in their liquid for a day or two. I left mine that way for a day, and the texture was still really lovely.

11:06 AM, January 06, 2012  
Blogger Maryann Welsch said...

I made these pears three weeks ago and I'm STILL thinking about them. So delicious. I'm buying some more pears tomorrow.
Thanks for the recipe!

6:34 PM, January 26, 2012  
Anonymous Theresa said...

Made these a few days ago. They were delicious. I took a photo and posted a link to your recipe on my blog. Thanks for the good food.

11:43 AM, February 18, 2012  
Anonymous thehealthyfarmer said...

Wow! I first want to comment on your photos’; I truly enjoyed the pictures. The poached pears look fantastic. This has given me an experimental idea. My father has grafted a pear tree in his backyard that carries three different types of pears. I can’t wait to pick from this tree and try this recipe.

5:54 PM, March 06, 2012  
Anonymous Karen White said...

I found your blog after searching Google for a recipe to poach pears but I have found so much more in your beautifully written blog. The pears were poached yesterday (I think the comment I left then is lost forever in the ether), and we have enjoyed them today. Despite my love of cooking and my advanced years I had never poached pears before -what a treat I've been missing!
I have a passion for cookery books, especially cookery books that are more than a bunch of recipes and I was delighted to see that you had written a book. Even more delighted to source a hb copy (here in the UK) which is now on its way to me.

1:56 PM, August 03, 2013  
Blogger John Zeigler said...

I love poached pears in just about any incarnation. One thing I really like about them is they lend themselves to home canning for quick desserts in minutes. The only real trick to it is to reduce the spices about in half, since the pears absorb more of the spices while residing in the jar. Leave them slightly undercooked, so that hot packing will finish the cooking. I have about ten different varieties of poached pears in cans, although your recipe is one of the best.

3:09 PM, October 11, 2015  

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