Poaching fruit—simmering it gently in liquid—can help you bring a simple, elegant dessert to the table quickly.
Many recipes for this delicate dessert are made with aggressive spices that can overwhelm the delicate taste of the fruit. This approach calls for simmering the ears in an unspiced syrup that is reduced to concentrate the fruity flavor. It’s worth the effort to seek out Poire Williams (a pear-flavored eau-de-vie) to finish the dish, but you can also use another pear-flavored liqueur or brandy. As it poaches, fruit becomes tender because it absorbs some of the cooking liquid. For this reason, the flavor of the liquid is key. Create a simple poaching liquid by mixing two parts liquid (such as wine, water, or fruit juice) with one part sugar. Then try your hand at this technique with the following tips.