Glazed Pears Recipe

Glazed Pears Recipe

You know that whole “don’t judge a book by its cover,” thing? I’ve always been pretty decent about that when it actually comes to books, but pretty terrible when it comes to food (especially when I was younger).

One bad experience with a certain food could turn me off of that food for months or even years, and one of the foods that fell into this category for a long time was pears.

I once tried a pear at a friend’s house when I was 6 or 7. Unfortunately, this particular pear was well past its prime and was mealy and had a very off-taste.

I’d had pears before, but this bad experience stuck, so I was convinced for a long time that I didn’t like pears anymore. Recently, when a local friend offered me a bushel of pears from her tree’s abundance, I hesitated but decided to give pears another shot. I’m so glad I did, because her fresh organic pears were nothing like that mealy overripe pear I’d tried when I was a kid and I found that I really did enjoy the taste of fresh pears.

Glazed Pears Recipe

I’d just finished re-reading French Kids Eat Everything, and was on a French food kick, so I decided to try a recipe for glazed pears that I found in an old French cookbook I had. I made some adaptions to make it a one-pan recipe and could not be more pleased with how it turned out.

Pears are so inexpensive in many stores and farmers markets right now and this is an excellent fall recipe to try!

This recipe uses only natural sweeteners, but like any dessert is a special treat and not an everyday recipe. My general rule is that most nights, I will serve my kids fresh fruit after meals if they are still hungry and once a week I will make a nutrient dense real food dessert.

Glazed Pears Recipe

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Glazed Pears Recipe

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Total

Yield 6 +

One-pan glazed pears naturally sweetened with maple syrup, and spiced with vanilla and cinnamon for a quick and decadent dessert.

Ingredients

  • 8 fresh pears
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 2 vanilla beans, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed or organic)
  • About 1 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons brandy (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (or more) chopped pecans (to top)
  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • Homemade whipped cream to top (optional) or whipped coconut cream.

Instructions

  1. This recipe can be made with whole pears or pears cut into wedges. Either way, peel the pears. I peeled, cored and sliced the pears into wedges for faster cooking.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
  3. Add the pears and cook over medium heat until the pears start to soften and brown slightly.
  4. Add maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla and orange juice and continue to simmer for approximately 20 minutes, uncovered, until juice reduces down and pears are soft all the way through. At this point, the juice, syrup and spice mixture will also start to form a glaze. Add raisins if using.
  5. If using brandy, add to the pan and flambe. This is done by exposing the alcohol in the pan to fire from a match or gas burner and then swirling the pan until the flame subsides. If you aren't familiar with this technique or don't want to do it, the alcohol can be omitted, or the mixture can just be simmered for an additional few minutes to evaporate off the alcohol. The flambe does impart a deeper, richer, flavor if you are able to do it.
  6. Remove from heat and top with chopped pecans and whipped cream, if using.

Courses Dessert

Cuisine French

How do you make pears? Do you prefer them fresh or cooked?

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Reader Comments

  1. Yummy thanks! 😀

  2. Thank you so much for this recipe! I bought several delicious Asian pears from the farmer’s market this past week but I’ve been racking my brain as what to do with them, and this sounds like a really good Sunday dessert in case I have a some leftover. 🙂

  3. Yum! Pinned it!

  4. Oh wow, this looks amazing. Thinking I will make this for a potluck next weekend!

    Though I am surprised there is no sea salt included here–even just 1/4 teaspoon imparts even more richness to the flavors!.

    Thanks Katie for yet another delightful contribution!

  5. Yummy I love pears! My mom used to make them glazed too, but with a dash of peppermint, which I think works really well with pears.

  6. Fruit should be eaten on an empty stomach. Not after a meal.

    Thanks

  7. This sounds amazing! I can’t have dairy…do you have a substitute for the 1/4 cup of butter?

    Thanks!

  8. Sounds yummy! We just moved to a house that has a fruit orchard and one of the trees is a pear tree :-).

  9. I had the same experience when I was 6 or 7! Ugh, I bit into that mealy disgusting pear and it was the last bite I’ve had since. I won’t say how long that was! I’m going give pears another chance with this recipe.

  10. When I went to visit my grandmother, I always looked forward to partaking in a quart of her delicious canned pears she would put up.

    These days, if fresh pears are in the house, I will have one in the morning before anything else. And there is little to go into the compost pile.

  11. What a delicious treat! I would love some now topped off with some refreshing ice cream to beat the heat! Happy feasting!

  12. Hi,

    I’m wondering if it is possible to replace the orange juice with lemon juice?
    I run out of oranges….
    Thank you!

  13. I made these last night and they were delicious. Thanks do much for sharing the recipe. We had gone apple picking and grabbed some pears since they looked so good. However, not being the biggest pear fan, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to give it a try. So glad I did. The pears were delicious and the house smelled wonderful.

  14. From Smitten Kitchen… Vanilla roasted pears.
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/2 vanilla bean
    1 1/2 pounds slightly-under-ripe, fragrant, medium pears, peeled if desired, halved though the stem and cored
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    2 tablespoons water
    2 tablespoon unsalted butter

    Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the sugar in a small bowl. With a thin, sharp knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise in half and scrape out the seeds. Stir the seeds into the sugar.

    Arrange the pears in a large baking dish, cut-side up. Drizzle the lemon juice evenly over the fruit, then sprinkle with the sugar. Nestle the vanilla pod among the fruit (I first slit my halves lengthwise into quarters). Pour the water into the dish. Dot each pear with some butter.

    Roast the pears 30 minutes brushing them occasionally with the pan juices. Turn the pears over and continue roasting, basting once or twice, until tender and caramelized, 25 to 30 minutes longer (if the pears are small, test for doneness after 35 or 40 minutes of cooking; a paring knife poked into the thickest part of one should meet with no resistance).

    Serve warm, spooned with the caramelized pear drippings from the pan over ice cream, dolloped with crème fraîche, on your morning oatmeal, over slices of gingerbread or so so much more.