Five ingredients that somehow combine into a dessert stunning both on the plate and on the palate. Poaching pears in a blackberry or marionberry hard cider instead of wine gives the lush color without the tannic undertones, a fruit explosion that sings with fall flavor and color. And honey whipped cream? So good with fresh fruit and absolutely addictive topped with the subtly tangy cider reduction. Cider poached pears are my new favorite fall dessert.
want some other adult oriented fruit recipes?
with thanksgiving just around the corner you can’t go wrong with my favorite bourbon cinnamon cranberry sauce
Lets talk hard cider-
I’ve got no idea what your cider situation is. Here in the beautiful pacific northwest we have several amazing cideries that make either a blackberry or marionberry cider. Rich in color and with just a hint of berry tang these are the ideal cider for this adventure. I used the 2towns Made Marion but I would think that any tart and colorful blackberry, cherry or cranberry cider would also be quite nice. Nothing too sweet, you want to be able to add a bit of honey a generous serving of whipped cream and not end up with a sugar bomb.
And if hard cider is not your thing an unfermented tart berry juice would also probably work but that is an experiment you must do on your own- if you do, please report back.
Cider Poached Pears
Hard Cider Poached Pears with honey whipped cream
- 4 ripe but still firm pears
- 16 ounces hard cider blackberry or marionberry
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- peel pears, leaving stems if possible. trim enough off the bottom of the pear to create a flat suface- no tippy pears!
- combine pears and cider in a sauce pan that will fit all four pears but still be small enough to be able to cover at least half the pear. drizzle 1-3 teaspoons of honey over the top (This depends on how sweet the cider you use is and also on how sweet you like your desserts.)
- poach pears over medium heat, turning if neccessary for even color. The cider should be simmering but not boiling. Poach for 15-20 minutes or until the pears are cooked but still firm.
Do ahead/bonus flavor option
- For added flavor after poaching you can leave the pears in the cider for 3-24 hours before continuing with the next step
- remove pears from poaching liquid and set aside, return the cider to the stovetop and cook over medium high heat until reuced by half. Remove from heat and keep at room temperature until ready to serve
- meanwhile, combine the whipping cream, vanilla, and 1/4 cup honey (obviously this works best with uncrystallized honey at room temperature). Whip the cream until soft peaks form. I do this by hand as it is too easy to overwhip in the stand mixer. Plus , exercise.
- to serve, place a genrous pillow of whipped cream on a plate or shallow bowl, top with the pear and drizzle generously with cider reduction.the whipped cream and cider reduction are also delicious sans pear