Vanilla Bean and Almond Poached Pears

Elegant and easy come together in these vanilla bean and almond poached pears! This is the perfect summertime dessert with chilled pears and vanilla ice cream. Get the trick for keeping these soft, but not soggy!

Dish Count :: 1 Saucepan

Vanilla Bean and Almond Poached Pears

Its official, there is no more hiding the bump. He is here to stay. Of course the only place you can document this is in your office bathroom, so you’re welcome. It might have also had something to do with the Din Tai Fung I had for lunch. But either way, here it is. Also (blessedly) you can’t see the ginger soy sauce I managed to splatter all over my shirt, which I naturally didn’t realize had happened until I got home that day.

But the wontons were so worth it. And Chip agreed. Week 17 Baby Bump

As much as they say everything about pregnancy is a wonder and the most beautiful thing on the planet – it also comes with its weird side of things, too. Those things that no one really talks openly about, because well, I don’t know. But not only do we have to contend with a bigger middle, and boobs so large that other smaller boobs will want to orbit around them, I have a new thing to contend with. And it was NOT one I was expecting.

Vanilla Bean and Almond Poached Pears

Peach fuzz. On. My. Face.

You always hear how GREAT your hair will look when you’re pregnant. Mine has played nicely so far. But they didn’t say it would also give you sideburns. THANKFULLY my mini meltdown was calmed only by Ben saying he hadn’t noticed… but with as little as we see each other in the daylight (night shift nursing) I wouldn’t have counted on him noticing anyway. BUT I NOTICED and I was HORRIFIED. Count this as one of those things you never thought you’d Google, but I did. At least I am not alone. Still. WTF?! New layers of complexity get piled on to the ever growing list of insecurities you can feel when you’re growing a human.

Well, if Adele can embrace her baby beard “Larry”, I can embrace mine. He just needs a name.

Vanilla Bean and Almond Poached Pears

So yes, week 17. Tiny Tot is apparently the size of a pear and it memoriam of this week I was so excited to try out a new pear recipe. Poached pears always seemed so hard and daunting, but the beauty of it is – they are NOT! I have never made a more simple and elegant dessert. They just look super impressive, but no one needs to know how easy they really are.

You can infuse them with any flavor you wish, but I opted for going simple and unfussy with vanilla and almond. Why complicate an already good thing? Using vanilla bean paste left behind a few little specs of caviar, but don’t let that worry you.
Vanilla Bean and Almond Poached Pears

Just enjoy these little beauties with some ice cream. They will be perfect for summer, warm from the pan, or chilled. Get the recipe below to see how these are done. And revel in their simplicity. Vanilla Bean and Almond Poached Pears

Yield: 4

Vanilla Bean and Almond Poached Pears

Ingredients:

  • 4 firm, but ripe, Pears – I used Bartlett and Anjou
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste, or Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Almond Extract
  • 1/4 cup Caramel Sauce
  • Vanilla Ice Cream

Directions:

In a large sauce pan, combine the sugar, water, vanilla and almond extracts. Bring this mixture to a simmer and stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves completely.

While the mixture is coming up to temperature, peel the pears. Remove any soft spots or bruises that might be present.

Gently set each pear into the saucepan, and allow them to simmer for five minutes. Gently turn them over, being careful not to dent them. Cover the pan, and remove it from the heat. Allow the pears to continue to poach in the warm liquid for 25 minutes and slowly begin to cool. Every 10 minutes or so, open the lid and turn the pears, or spoon the syrup over the top to keep them infused with syrup.

Once they are cooled slightly, you can serve them right away with ice cream, or place them into a large sealed container with the remaining syrup to cool completely and serve later.

Serve with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.