Poached pears happens to be one of the first desserts that I made after I got married. It is a simple but impressive dessert that is easy to make and has outstanding flavour and appearance. Over the years and many moves later, the recipe for Poached Pears with Cream Cheese Pecan Filling has changed very little with only the variety of pears or locally available wine as adjustments. I prefer the elegant look of Bosch pears for this dessert, but any variety of pear will work well.
This dessert is an excellent gluten-free option. For a dairy-free option, use non-dairy cream cheese in the filling. For a nut-free version, omit the pecans in the filling. If you choose not to use wine in the poaching liquid, substitute apple juice or pear juice.
The poaching liquid is reduced to a syrup and used when plating the poached pears.
POACHED PEARS WITH CREAM CHEESE PECAN FILLING
Yield: 4 – 6 servings
- 1 Lemon, rind and juice
- 1 inch piece of Ginger, peeled and sliced
- 2 cups (500 ml) White Wine
- 1 cup (250 ml) Water
- 1/2 Sugar
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 6 Cloves, whole
- Pinch Cayenne pepper
- 4 – 6 Anjou or Bosc Pears
Cream Cheese Filling
- 1 package (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
- 2 – 4 tablespoons Pecans, Toasted, chopped fine
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) Vanilla Bean Extract
- 2 – 4 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
- Pear poaching liquid, a few drops to thin out mixture (See below for Method)
To Serve: Raspberry Coulis
- In a medium saucepan, (2–3 qt.) place all of the poaching liquid ingredients together and stir. CHEF TIP: when choosing the size of the saucepan, you should be able to fit all pears in the saucepan sitting upright and covered by the poaching ingredients).
- Prepare the pears: Peel the whole pear, leaving the stem intact as shown in the photographs. Turn the pear upside down. Use a melon baller or small spoon and remove the core from the bottom of the pear, creating a small cavity. Place the peeled and cored pears in the poaching liquid. The pears may tip somewhat in the saucepan, and that is perfectly fine.
- Simmer until the pears are soft. CHEF TIP: Place a cartouche* (see Note below) on top to hold the liquid under a tent.
- Cool the pears in the poaching liquid. Refrigerate in shallow pan, trimming the bottoms of the pears if necessary, so that the bottom of the pear sits flat in the pan.
- For Cream Cheese Filling: Combine the ingredients and use a few drops of pear poaching liquid if necessary, to make a stiff filling for the pears.
- Fill the cavity of each pear with cream cheese filling and place the filled pear in a dish or container snug enough so that it will keep the pears upright until you are ready to serve them.
- To Serve: Using a shallow dessert plate/bowl of your choice, place a small pool of raspberry coulis in the middle of the plate. Place the pear on top of the coulis. Drizzle the pear with the poaching liquid reduction, if using. Place a few fresh raspberries and a sprig of fresh mint, if desired.
Pear Poaching Reduction Method:
- Once the pear poaching is complete and the pears are stored in the refrigerator, reduce the poaching liquid by 75% over high heat until the liquid is syrup-like. CHEF TIP: I first measure how much poaching liquid I start with by pouring it into a measuring cup. As I reduce the liquid, I periodically check the level of the liquid until only 1/4 of the original amount of liquid remains.
- Cool this syrup reduction completely and refrigerate. Serve the syrup drizzled on the poached pears.
Here is your step-by-step procedure in photographs:
Red Wine Poached Pears: Substitute red wine for the white wine to create ruby tinted poached pears. Serve with the pear liquid reduction (see above).
NOTES: A Cartouche is a parchment paper covering on top of a simmering liquid, which helps to keep items that are being poached immersed in the poaching liquid.
“Although cartouche sounds fancy it really is just the French term for a very handy piece of kitchen origami. Basically it is a piece of baking paper, grease paper or wax paper folded, folded and folded again, then ripped or cut to the size required.”
From Paul Gegeman of Chef’s Pencil
Please CLICK the link above to access my Urb’n’Spice LEARNING TIPS, which are listed alphabetically on the Learning Tips blog post under the following subheadings:
- Parchment Paper
- Favourite Kitchen Tools: Spatula
- Vanilla Bean Extract
You Might Also Enjoy these Urb’n’Spice recipes:
If you try my recipe for Poached Pears with Cream Cheese Pecan Filling, please leave me a comment below with your feedback. Don’t forget to pin this recipe for later!
The Urb’n’Spice Chef
Follow me on Social Media
Did you Make my Recipe?