Cider poached pears are naturally gluten free and vegan. This simple poached pear recipe takes just 6 ingredients and 25 minutes to make.
Originally published 10/29/14. Updated with new tips and photos 10/12/18.
It's pear season! In addition to apples, pumpkins, and cranberries, pears are also in season right now.
I love pears in my salad (especially when there’s also bleu cheese or goat cheese!). They’re also really good for breakfast with yogurt or as a healthier dessert option – like these cider poached pears.
Not only are these poaches pears healthy, but they’re also an easy and delicious fall dessert. Plus, they make your house smell amazing as they cook.
Poached pears look super fancy, but they couldn't be much simpler to make.
You can use a variety of liquids to poach pears. Wine is traditionally used, but, really, you can use lots of different liquids (like coconut milk!).
I used apple cider and “warm” spices because I wanted to stick with fall flavors for this dish.
How to pick a ripe pear
So, when you’re picking out your pears, how do you tell if a pear is ripe? It's actually really easy - just apply gentle pressure to the narrow "neck" of the pear with your thumb.
If it yields to pressure, it's ripe. However, you can also poach under-ripe pears, which is what I did.
I’m a big texture person. I like my fruit borderline under-ripe. Also, when they're a little under-ripe they hold up well to poaching.
I also like my pears to be almost tender-crisp, so I started off with pears that were under-ripe.
And these cider poached pears were fantastic! The pears soak up the spices and cider, and the cider cooks down to make a delicious syrup.
How to serve poached pears
In addition to serving poaches pears with yogurt for breakfast, these pears would also be good with pancakes, waffles, or crepes. I suggest spooning the syrup over the pears when you serve them.
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- 4 ripe Green Anjou pears*
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- Peel pears, and slice in half lengthwise.
- Leave the stems but remove the core.
- In a large, shallow skillet, bring apple cider and spices just to boil over medium heat.
- Add pears.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer pears until tender, about 20-25 minutes. I flip my pears over half way through.
- Serve pears warm with cider spooned over the top.
**Nutrition values are estimates.