Coffee poached pears

Pears are fairly readily available all year round, but the variety of pears that I’ve seen around, and how beautifully fragrant they are hinted to me that they are in season.  I’m not sure if coffee poached pears are  a thing, it’s something my mother’s friend used to make for us and even as a child, I loved them. I think the coffee gets infused with the delicate, yet distinct flavor of pear—and something magical happens. I also love that it’s so simple and pretty healthy, and one of those treats that you can whip up spontaneously.

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Ingredients

3 D’Anjou pears, firm
250ml drinking-strength coffee
100ml water
1 ½ teaspoons raw sugar

3 tablespoons plain yogurt, cream or ice cream, to serve
Handful walnuts, chopped, to serve
1 ½ teaspoons maple syrup
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I used D’Anjou pears which were great because they are so easy to peel and have a nice plump shape to them. They should be ripe but still firm.

 

Brew some coffee, I made 250ml in my espresso maker, not too weak but as you would drink it. You don’t want the coffee too strong that it overpowers the delicate fragrance of the pears.

 

Peel and halve the pears, keeping the stalk to one side (I have tried to split the stalk before, but I ended up ruining both halves).

 

Remove the cores, I do this by inserting a small fruit knife at an angle just around the core in a diamond shape, removing a kind of pyramid-shaped piece for the core. Of course if you have a melon baller or other special device for this, you can use it but I like how little wastage there is in this method.

 

Place the pears in a saucepan with the coffee, raw sugar and water. It’s best if there is enough room for the pears to lie flat in the pan, but if not you just have to keep moving them around so they cook evenly through. Cook them on a simmer for 30-45 minutes until you get a glossy, translucent amber color on all pieces.  The cooking time will vary depending on how ripe the pears are, how strong your heat is — add water as needed if the syrup is reducing too quickly.

 

This is what the pears should look like, they are very delicate so don’t use any sharp utensils to lift them out. You want the pears to hold their shape but easy be cut through with a spoon.

 

Carefully slice the halves, keeping the top inch or so in tact, and push the slices apart to make it more like a fan. Place some syrup from the pot into a bowl, and place the pears on top.

 

Serve with yogurt, maple syrup and walnuts – or even heavy cream or ice cream. I like the contrast of warm and cold, but the pears can be served cold too.

Open printable recipe here