Poached Pears with Vanilla Sauce
This dessert is a great ending to a special-occasion meal. Whole pears are lightly spiced and chilled, then served with a heavenly custard sauce.—Al Latimer, Bentonville, Arizona
Total TimePrep: 25 min. Cook: 25 min. + chilling
- 2-1/3 cups sugar, divided
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 10 cups water, divided
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
- 6 medium firm pears, stems attached
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
- 3 whole cloves
- In a heavy 2-qt. saucepan, combine 1/3 cup sugar and cornstarch; gradually stir in milk and cream until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Gradually add a small amount of hot mixture to egg yolks; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Cook and stir over medium-low heat for 15 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly (do not boil). Stir in vanilla. Pour into a bowl; place a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap on top of sauce. Cover and refrigerate.
- In a large bowl, combine 6 cups water and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Carefully peel pears, leaving stems attached. Immediately plunge pears into lemon water. In a large saucepan, combine lemon zest, and the remaining sugar, water and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Add cinnamon stick, cloves and pears. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until pears are tender.
- Carefully remove pears to a plate. Discard cinnamon stick and cloves. Drizzle syrup over pears. Loosely cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. To serve, place pears on dessert plates; drizzle with chilled vanilla sauce.
Nutrition Facts1 each: 539 calories, 13g fat (7g saturated fat), 174mg cholesterol, 33mg sodium, 107g carbohydrate (96g sugars, 4g fiber), 4g protein.
Originally published as Poached Pears with Vanilla Sauce in Taste of Home October/November 2001