RECIPE: Poached pears


At Cookery School we teach to empower so that everyone has the confidence to replicate recipes again and again at home. We also teach by principle – if you can understand how to make one soup, you can make a whole range of different soups using the same principle.

During our time at home, in isolation, these principles have never been more pertinent, when we all need to cook a lot more. We will be sharing simple, home-cooked weekly recipes with you, so that your experience of cooking during Covid-19 is a positive one, with new recipes learnt and delicious dishes enjoyed.

What is poaching?

Uses a small amount of water that has been flavoured with savoury ingredients or sugar and spices, in which the ingredient being poached is submerged in the poaching liquid and cooked very slowly. Food cooked this way stays beautifully moist.

Poached pears in vanilla syrup
Feeds 4

4 pears, flavourful but not too ripe
150ml / ¼ pint water
8 teaspoons caster sugar
1 vanilla pod

1. Peel the pears and slice each one in half. Using a teaspoon, gently scoop out the core and pips.
2. Place the prepared pears in a bowl of water to which a little lemon juice has been added. This stops the pears from oxidising and going brown.
3. Place the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add these, as well the pod, to the poaching liquid.
4. Reduce the heat and gently place the pears in the poaching liquid. Bring back up to the boil. The pears should be covered, but the less liquid used, the more
flavourful the syrup will be at the end of the cooking process.
5. Reduce the heat again and allow the pears to simmer away until cooked.
6. Test by inserting a skewer or sharp knife into the pear – if there is little resistance then they are cooked through. Different types of pears require different lengths
of cooking time.
7. Remove the pears from the pan.
8. If there is a lot of juice (i.e. poaching liquid) remaining, continue to cook this until well reduced and of a syrupy consistency. Pour over the pears and allow to cool.

Rosalind’s tip

Instead of using water, wine or Sauternes can be used – in this case the sugar may be unnecessary.


Cooking during Covid-19
We have a wealth of experience to share in these unprecedented times if you need help cooking during Coronavirus. We’ll be giving you tips and recipes on using store cupboard ingredients, preserving, pickling & above all making the most of your valuable ingredients & not wasting food. PLEASE let us have YOUR questions and SHARE on Facebook or Instagram what you’ve been cooking & our founder Rosalind will be able to get back to you with answers so we can all learn from each other.

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