One of my favorite, simple, and customizable winter desserts is poached pears. I learned how to make them when creating what is, so far, one of the saddest recipe disasters in my own food blog: a failed attempt at Drunken Pear Ginger Bread. Throwing away, literally, an entire pan of inedible under-cooked dessert was painful, yet laughable. Still, we can all learn from our mistakes: at least I learned how to poach a mean pear when all was said and done!
I'm not quite sure what inspired me to poach the pears in coconut cream - I was most likely daydreaming on a lunch break - but I decided to give it a go, figuring it could infuse the pears with a unique richer flavor. With a "go hard or go home" mentality, I decided to substitute coconut sugar in for refined white sugar and / or honey, a route many traditional poached pear recipes take. Lo and behold, within about 10 minutes of starting the poaching process, my kitchen was filled with a surprisingly rich buttery caramel smell; I knew I had taken a good risk!
This recipe yields a wonderfully warm and comforting dessert, or if you are like me, it makes for a good breakfast on a chilly lazy weekend as well. Enjoy this and enjoy your holidays, YBCers!
Poached Pears in Coconut Cream
(Makes 4 servings)
For the pears:
– 4 Bosc pears, peeled, left whole with stems attached
- 1 14 oz. can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated for at least 8 hours prior to poaching pears, coconut milk separated from coconut cream
– 5 cups water
– 1/2 cup coconut sugar
– 4 whole cinnamon sticks
– 1 large peel of lemon rind
For the Coconut Cream Topping
- The separated coconut cream from the can of coconut milk; see pear directions above.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon honey
- Stick with firm Bosc Pears. They hold up well while being poached. Anything else, such as a tender D'Anjou, will disintegrate.
- If you don't have coconut sugar, Sugar In The Raw or plain ol' table sugar can be substituted.
1.) Carefully remove can of coconut milk from refrigerator, taking care not to shake or disturb the contents. Remove coconut cream on top, place in bowl, and place in fridge.
2.) Combine coconut milk, water, coconut sugar, cinnamon sticks, and lemon peel in a large saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil. Add pears and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes. Remove pears with a slotted spoon and place on plate to cool slightly. Reserve poaching liquid.
3.) For coconut cream, simply use a whisk to combine the coconut cream, vanilla extract, and honey.
4.) Place pears in shallow bowls. Add a few spoonfuls of reserved poaching liquid to each bowl, and spoon coconut cream over poached pears. Enjoy immediately!