Amaretto Poached Pears Recipe
Amaretto Poached Pears are simple, low-calorie, gluten-free, and super easy to make. The lightly sweetened poaching syrup is packed full of flavor from the liqueur, aromatics, and vanilla. Serve these flavorful pears with ice cream, drizzled with caramel sauce, sprinkled with chocolate shavings, or atop your oatmeal in the morning, you’ll love it all!
Poaching is a way to cook something in a slow, simmering fashion in order to infuse it with the flavors of the poaching liquid. For this recipe, I have chosen cinnamon, star anise, vanilla, and Amaretto liqueur.
For poached pears, you’ll want to choose firm but ripe pears to help the pears withstand the simmering. Bosc pears are typically the best for this purpose as they retain their firmness even when fully ripe.
Can poached pears be made in advance?
The Amaretto Poached Pears are every hostess’ dream. They can easily be prepared ahead and left in the fridge until that perfect time (up to 5 days).
In fact, the longer they sit in the poaching liquid, the more time the pears have to absorb the delicious flavors of Amaretto, cinnamon, vanilla, and star anise.
What goes with poached pears?
The delicious, tender aromatic pears can be served as is in a dainty cup with some poaching liquid, with chocolate shavings like shown in this post, with delicious chocolate sauce (like this chocolate ganache), a drizzle of caramel, creme Anglaise, whipped cream, or some crushed up Amaretti cookies or atop your warm morning oatmeal.
Ingredients for the Poached Pears:
- Pears, peeled and cored (Bosc works best)
- granulated sugar (white or brown)
- lemon juice
- Amaretto liqueur (or Grand Marnier, or Apricot/Peach Liqueur)
- vanilla extract
- star anise (optional)
- cinnamon quill (optional)
How to make the Poached Pears
- In a large pot combine all ingredients, but the pears. Stir & bring mixture to a boil over medium heat.
- While the mixture is coming to a boil, peel the pears leaving the stems on.
- Add the pears to the poaching liquid and simmer over low heat until the pears are soft and easily pierced with a knife. Leave in the poaching liquid until ready to serve.
- When ready to serve, transfer the pears to a rimmed serving dish, pour a bit of poaching liquid over the pears. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings and serve.
How to make chocolate curls:
- Microwave a chocolate bar for about 15 seconds, in 2-3 second intervals. You want the chocolate bar to become a little warmer than room temperature. This will make it easier for the chocolate curls to form without crumbling into shards. Now use a paper towel to get a better grip on the bar, next using a vegetable peeler (this one is my favorite, ‘been using it for years) run it along the rib of the bar producing beautiful chocolate curls.
- Do not discard the poaching liquid. Pour it over ice and drink it as a refreshing drink, diluting it with water until desired sweetness.
Amaretto Poached Pears Recipe
Poached Pears are made by simmering pears in a light syrup infused with cinnamon, vanilla, star anise, and Amaretto liqueur. They're delicious as is, or as part of many other desserts.
How to make Poached Pears
Make the poaching liquid: In a large pot combine 3 cups water, 1 cup sugar, 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 cup liqueur of choice, 2 tablespoons vanilla extract, 1 star anise (optional) and 1 cinnamon quill (optional). Bring mixture to a boil.
Prepare pears: While the mixture is coming to a boil, peel the pears leaving the stems on. If using for a tart, you can split the pear in two, then remove the core.
Poach the pears: cut a parchment paper slightly smaller than the inside of the pot in which the pears will be poached. Now cut a small hole in the middle of the cutout.
Add the pears to the poaching liquid and cover with a round cutout pressing it slightly to touch the liquid and pears. This will help to keep the pears submerged in the liquid, which will prevent them from browning.
Simmer until the pears are soft and easily pierced with a knife, ~10-30 minutes or until they're transluscent and easily pierced with a knife.
The pears should be cooked, but not overcooked. Overcooking will cause them to become too soft and fall apart, while not cooking them enough will not allow the flavor to permeate the pears.
Leave the pears in the poaching liquid for a couple of hours until ready to serve, or better yet overnight. This will allow the pears to be completely infused with the flavored syrup.
Tip: this recipe contains no alcohol as it evaporates during cooking.
Serving suggestion - the pears can be served warm or cold. To serve warm, warm up the pears with the poaching syrup until desired temperature.
When ready to serve, transfer the pears to a rimmed serving dish, pour a little bit of poaching liquid over the pears, and sprinkle with chocolate curls.
The pears can be served with ice cream, alongside a cake, with oatmeal, granola & yogurt, or drizzled with caramel or chocolate ganache.
To make chocolate curls:
Microwave a chocolate bar for about 15 seconds, in 2-3 second intervals. You want the chocolate bar to become a little warmer than room temperature. This will make it easier for the chocolate curls to form without crumbling into shards. Now use a paper towel to get a better grip on the bar, next using a vegetable peeler run it along the rib of the bar producing beautiful chocolate curls.
To store - cool to room temperature, then transfer to a covered container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Do not discard the poaching liquid. Pour it over ice and drink it as a refreshing drink, diluting it with water until desired sweetness.
Or, simmer the syrup until reduced by half and use it to drizzle the pears when serving.
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