This is another recipe I borrowed from Caroline over at The Wanna be Country Girl, who in turn got it from David Leibovitz, one of my favourite chefs. I may have borrowed a few of his recipes myself on a few occasions.
Fall is the time for apples and pears, and delicate pears lend themselves well to a gentle poaching. So cut up 4 firm, ripe pears. These are Bartletts, I think — I got them at Costco. They could be Anjou. There was a big pile and they were all messed around, and I’m not that good at fruit identification. Quarter, core, and peel the pear pieces and plop them in a large saucepan.
Slide in 1 sliced lemon, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar. Pour 1 quart (1 litre) water over the fruit.
Cut a square of parchment paper, fold it into quarters, and cut a hole from the centre.
So when it’s unfolded you have a hole in the middle. This will let the steam out.
Tuck the parchment paper into the saucepan and bring the fruit to a simmer for 25 minutes.
Then I removed the fruit to cool slightly and turned up the heat on the remaining liquid to reduce it to a syrup.
As we had clafoutis for dessert that night, we let the pears cool and had them for breakfast the next day, with their own syrup and a daub of whipped cream.
Amazing on top of pancakes! Try the pears in sandwiches and salads, too.