Poached Pears with Caramel Sauce

For some reason I was in the mood for poached pears. Even though we don’t have Fall in Guatemala, I crave certain fall harvest fruits on this time of year since I am always looking at food blogs and websites from the USA that feature pears, pumpkins, cranberries, different kinds of squash, berries, apples, etc.

Poached pears are delicious by themselves, you can also try them with chocolate sauce, or a berry sauce topped with whipped cream, maybe?

I had no trouble with the poached pears, the caramel sauce is another story.

The only thing you have to do is NOT stir. Otherwise the sugar will cristalize… I know this, but God help me, I couldn’t resist. It took two tries to get it right. Please go to the link I included at the bottom of this recipe and read it before you make the caramel sauce.  It’s a step by step tutorial on how to make caramel.  After I read it, I got it right.

For those of you who can make caramel without any trouble, go ahead and go straight to the instructions for the sauce. You already know you’re not supposed to stir it.

But how does this taste? A Tarte Tatin comes to mind, the soft but thick caramel sauce mixed with the poached pear is just… heaven. I hope I didn’t scare you with the caramel issue. It is actually easy to make, basically you just have to leave it alone until the sugar melts.

I used David Lebovitz’s instructions until I had achieved the amber colored caramel, which brings us to step 3 in the sauce recipe. Then continue with the recipe adding the butter and cream to get your sauce.

Poached Pears with Caramel Sauce

Poached Pears with Caramel Sauce

For the Poached Pears:
Recipe from: David Lebovitz

Ingredients
Yields: 4 servings
1 quart (1l) water
1 1/3 cup (265 g) sugar
4 Bosc pears; peeled, cored, and quartered
Additions:
One cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons whole cloves, black peppercorns or allspice berries
One lemon half
One split vanilla bean
2-3 star anise
6-8 fresh ginger slices

Procedure:

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the water and sugar until warm and the sugar is dissolved. Add any of the additions that you wish.
  2. Slide in the pears and cover with a round of parchment paper, with a small hole cut in the center.
  3. Keep the liquid at a very low boil and simmer the pears until cooked through, 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the pears.
  4. Remove from heat and let the pears cool in their liquid.

For the Caramel Sauce:
Recipe from: Simply Recipes
Yields about 1 cup

Ingredients
1 cup of sugar
6 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Procedure:

  1. First, before you begin, make sure you have everything ready to go – the cream and the butter next to the pan, ready to put in. Making caramel is a fast process that cannot wait for hunting around for ingredients. If you don’t work fast, the sugar will burn. Safety first – make sure there are no children under foot and you may want to wear oven mitts; the caramelized sugar will be much hotter than boiling water.
  2. Heat sugar on moderately high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart or 3-quart saucepan. As the sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon. As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring. You can swirl the pan a bit if you want, from this point on. Note that this recipe works best if you are using a thick-bottomed pan. If you find that you end up burning some of the sugar before the rest of it is melted, the next time you attempt it, add a half cup of water to the sugar at the beginning of the process, this will help the sugar to cook more evenly, though it will take longer as the water will need to evaporate before the sugar will caramelize.
  3. As soon as all of the sugar crystals have melted (the liquid sugar should be dark amber in color), immediately add the butter to the pan. Whisk until the butter has melted.
  4. Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. Count to three, then slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate. Note than when you add the butter and the cream, the mixture will foam up considerably. This is why you must use a pan that is at least 2-quarts (preferably 3-quarts) big. (Check here for an explanation of why adding the cream makes the mixture bubble up so much.)
  5. Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass mason jar and let sit to cool to room temperature. (Remember to use pot holders when handling the jar filled with hot caramel sauce.) Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Warm before serving.

Makes a little over one cup of sauce.

We’ve included a link to David Lebovitz’s instructions on How to Make the Perfect Caramel.

Poached Pears with Caramel Sauce

This is what happens if you stir!

Poached Pears with Caramel Sauce

Poached Pears with Caramel Sauce

Poached Pears with Caramel Sauce

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