Recipe: Poached Pears in Cardamom-Clove Syrup



  • 4-5 large ripe, but not soft, Bartlett pears 
  • ¾ c. dry white wine 
  • ¾ c. water 
  • ¾ c. granulated sugar 
  • 10 cardamom seeds, lightly crushed with  back of a knife or with mortar and pestle 
  • cloves 
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon 
  • 1 medium orange, rind peeled from orange without white pith 
  • pomegranate arils, for garnishing  
  • Vanilla ice cream or sliced pound cake, for serving (optional) 


1. Peel and core pears and cut them into eighths; set aside.

2.  In a large saucepan, combine wine, water, sugar, crushed cardamom, cloves cinnamon and orange peel. Place saucepan over medium-high heat and stir until sugar is fully dissolved. Carefully add pear slices and reduce heat to a simmer. Poach pears for about 10 minutes, gently turning them.

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3. In a strainer over a small bowl, drain pears and carefully remove any spices and orange peel that cling to the outside of the pears. Transfer pears to a decorative bowl; set aside.

4. Rinse out saucepan and transfer bowl of poaching liquid to saucepan. Place pan over medium-high heat and reduce syrup by half. Pour reduced hot syrup over pears. Let cool to room temperature before serving, or store in the refrigerator for up to two days and serve cold.

5.  Poached pears and syrup can be served alone in bowls, garnished with pomegranate arils, over a large scoop of vanilla ice cream or a slice of pound cake. 

Makes six to eight servings.