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.
View Recipe: Simple Poached Pears
Core or pit the fruit, and peel if appropriate. Firm fruits, such as pears and apples, work best when peeled, but keep the skin on delicate stone fruits, such as peaches and plums.
Simmer for 10 minutes, and then check for doneness by piercing the fruit with a knife. The fruit should give without being mushy. Continue simmering to suit your taste.