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Spiced Poached Pears

Spiced Poached Pears

November 19, 2021

Recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi | Photo by Jonathan Lovekin







Our team is absolutely obsessed with anything and everything Ottolenghi creates. His recipes are flavorful, unique, and we’re especially excited for you to try these poached pears. They’re the perfect dish to close out a decadent meal, as they are quite light, but still such a treat. Their spiced warmth is also perfect for the winter months!


1/2 tbsp cardamom pods

2 cups dry white wine

3/4 cup sugar

1.25  tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp saffron threads

 Pinch of kosher salt

4 firm pears, peeled, stems intact

6-ounce container of crème fraîche, or vegan cream of choice 


Gently crush cardamom with a rolling pin or the bottom of a skillet to slightly crack open pods without releasing seeds. Combine cardamom, wine, sugar, lemon juice, saffron, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer. Add pears; add water if needed to completely submerge pears. Cover with lid slightly ajar and simmer, turning occasionally, until pears are tender but not mushy, about 30 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer pears to a plate. Allow to cool to room temperature (30-60 min). Meanwhile, boil poaching liquid at high heat until reduced to 1 cup (takes about 10–15 minutes). 

When you're ready to serve, spoon some warm syrup over each pear. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche atop.

*Recipe can be made up to 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate pears. Let syrup stand at room temperature. Rewarm syrup before plating and serving with the pears.