Easy Poached Pears

Prep Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
45 mins

Poached pears are a charming, elegant dessert—and they're easy to make. Bosc pears, which hold their shape well when poached, are gently cooked in a mix of apple cider, lemon zest, cinnamon, and allspice—with black pepper adding a subtle kick. Once the pears are tender, they are removed from the poaching liquid. The liquid is cooked down until it's syrupy, then poured over the pears. A dollop of whipped cream or crème fraîche is all you need for serving, but a scoop of lemon sorbet is another delicious—and dairy-free—option.


  • Zest of 1 lemon, cut into thin strips

  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half

  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

  • 3 cups apple cider

  • 1 cup water

  • 8 Bosc pears (with stems), peeled and cored from bottom

  • Lemon sorbet, for serving (optional)


  1. In a large saucepan, combine lemon zest, cinnamon stick, allspice, ground pepper, apple cider, and water.

  2. Add pears. Cover with waxed paper to prevent discoloring. Bring to a simmer. Cook, turning pears occasionally, until easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, but not falling apart, about 20 minutes. Remove pears from liquid; transfer to large bowl.

  3. Raise heat to high; boil cider mixture until reduced to a syrup, about 15 minutes. Discard cinnamon. Pour syrup over pears; refrigerate. To serve, slice off a sliver from the bottom of each pear (so it stands upright). Serve pears with lemon sorbet, if desired.

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