Orange Cinnamon Poached Pears with Walnuts
A simple recipe for making gently simmered poached pears cooked in orange juice and topped with a rich cinnamon syrup and crunchy walnuts.
Can you believe I’ve never poached pears before? That’s just sad! I didn’t even know how to go about poaching a pear or how easy it is until recently when I decided to try it out for dessert when I was having company at my house for dinner over the weekend. Like I’ve said in a recent post, I’ve been trying to be more adventurous in the kitchen and try something new and different every so often. Little did I know that poached pears are actually perfect for fall and winter cooking/baking and that it is super simple to make this elegant looking dessert. They would also be perfect for a “fancy” brunch dish.
Traditionally, pears are poached in a wine and sugar mixture. Orange juice became my poaching liquid of choice because I’m really into orange flavors lately and I figured it would be perfect with the pears. It was! The pears came out so juicy and tender and, bonus points, my house smelled like cinnamon, pears and citrus. In other words: my house smelled delicious! The syrup thickened up nicely and gave the perfect amount of sweetness with the walnuts adding a little bit of crunch. I was in texture heaven.
The best part about poached pear recipes is that the ingredients are usually already items you have in your pantry, so nothing special to go out and buy. You all know how much I love recipes where I don’t have to go out and get a bunch of random ingredients that are just going to sit in my pantry indefinitely. I’m guessing I’m not alone here!
Does everyone else on the planet know how to pick out a pear besides me? After some research, I realized that underripe pears are perfect when it comes to poaching, but if a nice and ripe pear is what you’re looking for then all you have to do is apply gentle pressure to the narrow “neck” of the pear with your thumb. If it yields to pressure, it’s ripe, sweet and ready for devouring. Simple as that!
So, moral of the story is: impress your guests with this delicious poached pear recipe! They will love you for it.
- First, peel the skin from the pear. Cut a little bit off the bottom so that the pear can stand on its own. Use a small spoon, a melon scooper or an apple corer to remove the core of the pear. I used an apple peel and this made it much easier, in my opinion.
- If your pears are overripe, they won’t poach well and they will turn out soggy. I promise. Poaching is the perfect pear-cooking method for underripe pears.
You can get more tips, read about the different varieties of pears and see which ones are being harvested now at the USA Pears.
- 1½ cups orange juice, no pulp
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup white granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 whole pears, peeled and cored (I used Green Anjou)
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, mix together the orange juice, brown and white sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Place pears into the syrup, and cover; simmer pears for 1 hour, spooning sauce over pears every 10 minutes, and carefully turning pears over twice during cooking time.
- Transfer pears to a plate and slice into thick slices.
- Continue cooking the syrup, stirring often, until thickened (about 10 more minutes) then mix in the walnuts. Take it off the heat.
- In a large bowl (preferably a cold bowl), whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form.
- Beat in vanilla and sugar until stiff peaks form. Make sure not to over-beat or cream will become lumpy and resemble the texture of butter.
- Stack slices of pears on individual serving plates and using a spoon or piping bag, pipe whipped cream in between layers of pears, ending with a scoop of whipped cream on the top.
- Pour the sauce over the pear stack to serve.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
I’ve never poached a pear either! You are so right, they would be such an easy way to impress dinner guests! Fabulous tips!
Awww thanks Lindsey!
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These came out soooo cute! I love that they retain the pear shape!
Awww thanks – yeah I liked that, too!
I love the gorgeous presentation of the pears layered with whipped cream! So elegant!
Thank you, Joelen!
These look amazing and elegant!
I’ve never poached a pear either! But your results are beautiful so I’ll definitely be giving it a whirl!
I would be one happy person if I was served this at any time during the day!
Sadly, I have never poached a pair either. I love your presentation of these pears – so pretty! They look like they could be featured in a restaurant. 🙂
Ashley – I have yet to poach a pair myself! I’ve never messed with them as I was never keen on using wine to poach them with – I never thought to use OJ – these not only look mouthwatering, but sound absolutely delightful!
I love pears this time of the year. I feel like they are often overlooked for apples or pumpkin but pears are where it’s at!
My husband LOVES pears – they are his fave!
I know it seems hard to believe that this dessert is as good as it sounds, but I was able to actually eat this (Thank you, Mrs. Wishes!) and it was absolutely amazing. Not too heavy of a dessert but full of flavor and little-to-no regret after eating!!! Loved it.
Scott, very good analysis of the pears. You should have written the post for me!
This looks AMAZING! Thanks!!
Yummy!! I just made my poached pears over the weekend and poached them in apple cider. They turned out amazing! I LOVE the sound of your orange juice version 🙂
This was my first time and won’t be my last! Thanks, Hannah!
I love how pretty this is. Poached pears always seem so fancy making them perfect to serve for a dinner party or brunch
Yeah, the reactions I got when I pulled them out of the ‘fridge were great!
Holy gorgeous photos batman!
HAHAHAHAH Thanks, Claire! That make me feel better because I was feeling a little insecure about the photos.
I always forget how easy it is to poach pears. These are so pretty, and I love the idea of adding in some crunch with a handful of walnuts.
Pears are one of my favorite fruits!! You’ve made them look sexy!!
LOL OK this just cracked me up!
These are gorgeous!!
Poached pears are aca-awesome.
These sound and look amazing; I have never poached a pear either and must change that!
I didn’t even know what poached pears were until now, as embarrassing as that is. Thanks for teaching me something today. 🙂 And that sauce looks awesome!
Swoon! Cooked fruit is my favorite! This is to-die-for!
Love the way you layered the whipped cream between the pear slices!
If I made this, I know my family and friends would be so impressed! So fancy!! You make it seem so doable though. I’ll have to give poaching pears a try!
This really is a fancy brunch idea. You did a phenomenal job!
I love the way you sliced and stacked these – they look so elegant!
I love poached pears, and you made this look so elegant! The flavors sound so incredible!
Oh my gosh – these look incredible, Ashley! I love the flavors!
I’ve never poached pears either! But I feel like I’m missing out. These look awesome!
I’ve just recently learned how to poach pears– so good! I love how pretty and easy you made this look! Yum!
I love poached pears! Such a wonderful and elegant dessert!
I LOVE poached pears! I love the combination of flavors you have going here too. Delish!
These have been on my mind since I saw the picture on Instagram or Facebook or somewhere! (Gorgeous, gorgeous photos!) I am a pear fanatic, but I’ve never had them poached.
I’ve never poached pears either! What an easy and impressive dessert.
these are gorgeous!!! I’ll have to poach pears if theY look this good
WOW… these look so fantastic! I am definitely going to make these soon! Thanks for sharing!
Mmmm pears! They look so pretty stacked and stuffed. Love!
These pears sound so yummy!! And I love how pretty your presentation is. 🙂 Poaching pears is so easy!!!