Choose perfectly ripe pears for this poached pear recipe; if they're overripe, they will be too soggy, and if they're underripe, they won't poach well. Bosc pears, which hold their shape well when baked or poached, have a sweet, tart flavor, but you can also use Anjou or Bartlett pears.
Peel the pears carefully, leaving the stems intact. Cut a small amount off the bottom so the pear can stand upright. If you're peeling many pears at once, immerse them in a large bowl of cold water with lemon juice. The acidulated water will keep the pears from discoloring until they are ready to be poached.