Stewed Pears

Stewed Pears

These easy stewed pears are made with 6 simple ingredients in 15 minutes. The sliced pears are stewed in a delicious syrup with vanilla, cinnamon, star anise, and coconut sugar, resulting in irresistibly soft pears. Delicious with ice cream, yogurt, porridge, pancakes, waffles, or on their own.

Type: breakfast, dessert,

Cuisine: French

Keywords: stewed pears, breakfast, dessert, fruit,

Recipe Yield: 4

Calories: 503

Preparation Time: 5

Cooking Time: 10

Total Time: 15

Recipe Video Name: Stewed Pears

Recipe Video Description: These easy stewed pears are made with 6 simple ingredients in 15 minutes. The sliced pears are stewed in a delicious syrup with vanilla, cinnamon, star anise, and coconut sugar, resulting in irresistibly soft pears. Delicious with ice cream, yogurt, porridge, pancakes, waffles, or on their own.

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 4 pears, peeled and cored, cut into quarters (not too thin)
  • 5 fl oz/ 150 ml water
  • 25 gr / 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (see notes)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • ½ lemon (juice)

Recipe Instructions: Prepare the pears Wash and peel the pears, remove the core and cut into quarters or slices. Sprinkle the sliced pears with lemon juice to flavor and prevent them from browning. Make the syrup Split the vanilla bean open in half and lay it flat on a cutting surface with a sharp knife slice down the middle (lengthwise) and then run the knife down the length to scrap up the seeds. To a pot or saucepan, add the water, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, and star anise and heat on a gentle simmer (medium heat) until the sugar has fully dissolved. Stew pears When the sugar has dissolved, add the sliced pears to the saucepan. Most of the pears should be covered with the syrup/liquid. Let simmer on low heat. After 1-2 minutes, drizzle some of the liquid with a spoon over the pears if they are not immersed in the liquid. If the liquid evaporates too fast, slowly add a bit more water. Let simmer for a few more minutes on low heat. They are ready when they are soft but not falling apart. This can be 5-7 minutes for ripe pears and up to 15 minutes for firmer pears. Check if the pears are done by gently piercing them with a fork or knife. Soft stewed pears should be easy to pierce without them falling apart. Remove the pears one by one from the saucepan. Remove the cinnamon stick and anise star. Pour the syrup into a container and use to drizzle over the pears when they are served. Serve warm or place in the fridge and serve cold. These pears are delicious with breakfast and dessert recipes such as pancakes, ice cream, porridge, or yogurt.

Editor's Rating:
5

This recipe for easy stewed pears with 6 simple ingredients is ready in 15 minutes. The sliced pears are stewed in a delicious syrup with vanilla, cinnamon, star anise, and coconut sugar, resulting in irresistibly soft pears. These pears are perfect for serving with ice cream, on yogurt, porridge, pancakes, waffles, or on their own.

While nothing is more delicious than biting in a ripe soft pear, stewed pears are a delightful way to make a dessert/breakfast recipe without too much effort. Today’s recipe is a go-to autumn and winter recipe for desserts or to elevate a simple porridge breakfast. 

Why these stewed pears are a culinary treat:

  • Easy and quick: with 6 ingredients, a bit of water, and 15 minutes you can make these pears too.
  • This recipe is easy to make on the stovetop.
  • These pears are irresistible and an absolute crowd-pleaser. How can you say no to soft and sweet glazed pears with cinnamon?
  • The stewed pears are but a mere prelude to the true star of the show: the luscious, flavorful syrup. This recipe is a must-try for syrup aficionados.
  • Do not let your abundance of ripe pears go to waste. This recipe is the perfect opportunity to put them to good use.
  • The versatility of stewed pears knows no bounds. Elevate any sweet dish to new heights by adding a dollop of stewed pears, be it porridge, waffles, ice cream, oats, yogurt, or simply savored on its own.
Also, try my stewed plums! Stewed plums are just as easy to make but with a different fruit and flavor profile. 
Stewed pears in an orange colored syrup in a white bowl with a gold spoon on top of the pears with one pear slice on the spoon on a white marble backdrop.

EASY STEWED PEARS

Pears are easy to stew in a sweet syrup infused with cinnamon and star anise. It can be served both warm and cold on various breakfast recipes, desserts, or their own. 

Pears are not the only fruit to succumb to the alchemy of stewing. If you seek more culinary adventures, discover the beauty of stewed plums. Both pears and plums surrender to the temptation of stewing, filling your house with an aroma that will tantalize your senses.

STEWED PEARS INGREDIENTS

To get your pears floating in a delicious cinnamon and star anise syrup, you will need 6 ingredients and water. This will result in the best soft stewed pears you have ever tried.

A white rectangle marble cutting board with the ingredients for stewed pears placed on it and four pears next to it with the names of all ingredients in bold next to each ingredient.

Medium ripe pears
How ripe/unripe your pears are is more important than what kind of pears you use. It’s best for this recipe to use pears that are medium ripe, not too ripe/soft, and not too underripe/firm.
If in doubt, it’s better to use slightly underripe pears as they will soften while cooking. However, overripe pears will turn into a mushy compote/jam texture.

Water 
The base of the syrup is plain water. 

Sugar
Coconut sugar or brown sugar is a delicious sweetener for stewed pears. 

Cinnamon 
Cinnamon will warm and flavor the stewed pears wonderfully. A medium-sized cinnamon stick is perfect for this recipe. 

Vanilla
Fresh vanilla adds such a lovely sweet flavor to these pears. 
 
Lemon juice
Lemon juice sprinkled over the pears has two purposes. It will prevent the pears from turning brown and add a zesty flavor to the sweet pears. 

Cinnamon and star anise
Cinnamon adds a deep, warming flavor to this recipe. Star anise is an optional ingredient but an excellent addition as it adds a semi-sweet licorice flavor. 

HOW TO MAKE STEWED PEARS (step-by-step with photos)

This recipe is simple but bursting with flavors and the best addition to elevating a simple dessert or breakfast recipe. Follow the photo steps below, and then scroll down to the recipe card for the complete ingredient list.

Step 1. – Prepare the pears
Remove the skin of the pears, remove the core and cut into quarters or slices. 

A white rectangle marble cutting board with sliced pears on it and the peel of the pears next to it with half a lemon in the backdrop.

Step 2.
Sprinkle the sliced pears with lemon juice.

Step 3. – Make the syrup
Slice open the vanilla bean and lay it flat on a cutting surface with a sharp knife, slice down the middle (lengthwise) and then run the knife down the length to scrap up the seeds. 

A white rectangle marble cutting board with a vanilla bean on it and a hand with a silver knife scraping the vanilla seeds out of the vanilla bean.

Step 4.
Add the water, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, and star anise to a pot or saucepan and heat on medium until the sugar dissolves.

Step 5. – Stew pears
Add the sliced pears to the saucepan and let simmer on low heat.

Step 6.
Halfway pour the liquid (syrup) over the pears with a spoon.

SUBSTITUTIONS

This recipe is simple and versatile. However, a few substitutions are possible.

Sugar
For this recipe, any sugar can be used in any form (also syrups). Coconut sugar, brown sugar, xylitol, and maple syrup are good options, but feel free to experiment with monk fruit or date syrup too. The amount of sugar is adjustable to your taste. This recipe is sweet, using ripe pears and 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Lemon juice 
While lemons add a bright, citrus flavor, they can be substituted with orange juice. It will not prevent the pears from turning brown, so it’s best to work quickly when substituting the lemon juice. 

Spices
This syrup is flavored with a cinnamon stick and star anise. Cinnamon is an excellent combination with pears, but you can substitute the star anise for other spices, such as a slice of ginger, a few cloves, a few cardamom pods, or a sprinkle of pumpkin spice or allspice.

Vanilla
I use a fresh vanilla bean for this recipe, but you may also use a few drops of vanilla essence.

Water
The base for this syrup is water, but you can make this recipe a bit fancier by using white or red wine instead of water. Apple juice instead of water can give this recipe more sweetness without using more sugar. 

Stewed pears in an orange colored syrup in a white bowl with a star anise on top of the pears on a white marble backdrop.

HOW TO SERVE STEWED PEARS

I have already mentioned a few serving suggestions, but there are endless ways to enjoy these soft poached pears.

Serve these stewed pears for breakfast, such as porridge, oatmeal, yogurt, waffles, pancakes (such as these fluffy pancakes), or granola.

These pears are also great to serve with desserts, such as ice cream, chocolate cake, or parfait.

On their own (either warm or cold), these pears are delicious too.

Stewed pears with three vanilla ice cream scoops on an orange colored syrup in a white textured bowl with a gold spoon in the bowl on a white marble cutting board with a pink napkin next to it.

FINAL TIPS

Pears
It can be tricky to know when pears are underripe over overripe. When the pears are too ripe, they can become mushy when heated. When the pears are underripe, they can stay too firm (instead of becoming soft) and may need more sugar to reach that desired sweetness. Pears should be semi-soft but not without soft brown spots. They also should not feel too firm (like an apple). When in doubt, it’s best to use slightly underripe pears, stew them a bit longer, and possibly use more sugar. 

For this recipe, I recommend peeling the pears before stewing, but it’s not necessary, and if you don’t mind the skin, you can skip that step. The skin will soften a bit as well when stewing the pears. 

Syrup
The syrup is just as delicious as these soft sweet pears, and any leftovers should not be discarded. It’s incredibly delicious to serve over porridge or ice cream. Place any leftover syrup in a glass jar with a lid and keep it in the fridge for later. 

Sugar
Use any sugar you wish for this recipe, such as refined sugar-free options like maple syrup or stevia. The amount of sweetness is a personal preference, and it also depends on the sweetness of the pears. When the pears are stewing, try a bit of the syrup and adjust the sweetness accordingly.

Serve
The options to serve it with other breakfast or dessert recipes are endless, but these pears are delicious on their own with a bit of yogurt and chopped nuts, such as walnuts. 
These stewed pears are delicious, both warm and cold.

Adjust the spices
This recipe is delicious with cinnamon and star anise, but feel free to adjust the spices with other options, such as ginger, cloves, and cardamom. 

Stewed pears in an orange colored syrup in a white bowl with a star anise on top of the pears and a gold spoon and pink napkin next to the bowl.

FREQUENTLYY ASKED QUESTIONS

What type of pears is best to stew?

The ripeness is more important than the type of pear. You probably know what I mean if you have ever bitten in a perfectly ripe pear and an underripe pear. One tastes like the perfect juicy, soft sweet fruit, and the other taste like an apple without any sweetness. For this recipe use slightly ripe (not overripe) pears. 

What type of pear is best for cooking?

It is true that some kinds of pears are naturally sweet and can hold their shape when they are being heated, such as Bosc pears, Anjou pears, Concorde pears, Corella pears, French butter pears, and Packham pears. Some pears can quickly turn into a mushy compote, such as Williams or Bartlett pears. 

Should I peel the pears?

This is a personal preference, and it will not change the recipe or stewing time. If the peel doesn’t bother you, don’t remove it. The skin will become a bit softer after stewing, but it will still have that slightly textured feel.

What can I do when my pears are falling apart?

They can fall apart if you overcook the pears or use overripe pears. In that case, you can turn this recipe into a compote. When the cooked pears fall apart, remove them from the heat and puree them with an immersion blender until smooth.  

How do I prevent the pears from falling apart?

Overheating the pears for too long can cause them to fall apart. The best way to tell if the stewed pears are done is to keep an eye on them. The time to stew these pears depend on their ripeness. It is also a personal preference how soft you would like the pears to be. While the pears are stewing, pour the syrup over the pears so they can equally become soft. After a few minutes, you can pierce one pear with a fork to see how soft they are. Generally speaking, firm pears take longer than soft pears to stew.

Can I keep the stewed pears for later?

These pears are perfect for making ahead. Store the pears in a jar with a lid or an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge.

Are stewed pears freezer friendly?

You can freeze stewed pears for up to 6 months. The best way to do this is to place the pears together with the syrup in separate cups. Silicone baking cups are perfect for this. You can just pop one or a few cups out of the freezer whenever you need a portion. To thaw, place in a pot or pan over medium heat.

If you like warm fruit, you should also check out these Stewed Plums and Pan Roasted Strawberries. 

Are you going to make these stewed pears? Let me know in the comment section, and leave a rating. And if you share it on Instagram, I love seeing your creations.

Stewed pears in an orange colored syrup in a white bowl with a star anise and a golden spoon on top of the pears with the text stewed pears in bold on top.
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Stewed pears in an orange colored syrup in a white bowl with a star anise and a golden spoon on top of the pears.

Stewed Pears

  • Author: Bianca
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 15
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: breakfast, dessert, snack
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: French
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These easy stewed pears are made with 6 simple ingredients in 15 minutes. The sliced pears are stewed in a delicious syrup with vanilla, cinnamon, star anise, and coconut sugar, resulting in irresistibly soft pears. Delicious with ice cream, yogurt, porridge, pancakes, waffles, or on their own.


Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Prepare the pears
    Wash and peel the pears, remove the core and cut into quarters or slices.

    Sprinkle the sliced pears with lemon juice to flavor and prevent them from browning.

  2. Make the syrup
    Split the vanilla bean open in half and lay it flat on a cutting surface with a sharp knife slice down the middle (lengthwise) and then run the knife down the length to scrap up the seeds.

    To a pot or saucepan, add the water, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, and star anise and heat on a gentle simmer (medium heat) until the sugar has fully dissolved.

  3. Stew pears
    When the sugar has dissolved, add the sliced pears to the saucepan. Most of the pears should be covered with the syrup/liquid. Let simmer on low heat.

    After 1-2 minutes, drizzle some of the liquid with a spoon over the pears if they are not immersed in the liquid. If the liquid evaporates too fast, slowly add a bit more water.

    Let simmer for a few more minutes on low heat. They are ready when they are soft but not falling apart. This can be 5-7 minutes for ripe pears and up to 15 minutes for firmer pears.

  4. Check if the pears are done by gently piercing them with a fork or knife. Soft stewed pears should be easy to pierce without them falling apart.
  5. Remove the pears one by one from the saucepan. Remove the cinnamon stick and anise star. Pour the syrup into a container and use to drizzle over the pears when they are served.
  6. Serve warm or place in the fridge and serve cold. These pears are delicious with breakfast and dessert recipes such as pancakes, ice cream, porridge, or yogurt. 


Notes

Pears
Slightly underripe pears are better than very soft overripe pears, as they will turn mushy. The cooking time depends on how firm or soft the pears are.

Sugar
For this recipe, any sugar can be used in any form (also syrups). Coconut sugar, brown sugar, xylitol, and maple syrup are good options, but feel free to experiment with monk fruit or date syrup too. The amount of sweetness is a personal preference, and it also depends on the sweetness of the pears. This recipe is sweet, using ripe pears and 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Lemon juice 
While lemons add a bright, citrusy flavor, they can be substituted with orange juice. It will not prevent the pears from turning brown, so it’s best to work quickly when substituting the lemon juice. 

Spices
This syrup is flavored with a cinnamon stick and star anise. Cinnamon is an excellent combination with pears, but you can substitute the star anise for other spices, such as a slice of ginger, a few cloves, a few cardamom pods, or a sprinkle of pumpkin spice or allspice.

Vanilla/ cinnamon
I use a fresh vanilla pod for this recipe, but you may also use a few drops of vanilla essence. Instead of a cinnamon stick, feel free to use 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Water
The base for this syrup is water, but you can make this recipe a bit fancier by using white or red wine instead of water. Apple juice instead of water can give this recipe more sweetness without having to use more sugar. 


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 503

Keywords: stewed pears, breakfast, dessert, fruit,

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