Easy Poached Pears Without Alcohol
I made these rather wonderful easy poached pears without wine today when we had guests for lunch. I thought I’d see if I could frugalise the recipe. I have described these as with no alcohol, although I realise that the process of simmering a wine based poaching stock down to a syrup would boil off the alcohol anyway
How To Frugalise Poached Pears
Poached pears are usually simmered in a red or white wine and water syrup. Wine being the obviously most expensive ingredient, the usual alcohol was replaced in this easy poached pears recipe with value apple juice which costs just 11p (the pink tinge in the image came from a tiny bit of red wine in the bottom of a bottle). Using wine would bump up the cost considerably
Poached pears in white wine are less common than poached pears in red wine. Each wine bringing its own variation. I hadn’t tried poached pears in apple juice before, but I’m very glad I did!
I’ve reduced the sugar to 15g to cut down the carbs a bit too, and I think that the sugar could probably be dispensed with altogether, juice being quite sweet already. Other than that, the ingredients are just lemon juice and a couple of spices. The spices used are vanilla extract, cardamom pods and cinnamon. I changed cinnamon stick to ground cinnamon. The cardamom is nice, but far from essential. I would recommend using the vanilla if not the other 2 spices even if it is just vanilla poached pears, which are still gorgeous by the way!
What are Easy Poached Pears Like?
Really, seriously, good! The apple juice and lemon juice combined gives a wine flavour once reduced down to a gorgeous syrup. I would definitely serve these at a dinner party, feeling no need to mention their frugal credentials
Serve your lovely easy poached pears simply on their own, with the luscious syrup drizzled over.
Or gild the lily by adding a dollop of ice cream, a trickle of cream, a spoon of creme fraiche or a little thick Greek yogurt
Variations for Easy Poached Pears
Use grape juice, red or white, or cranberry juice (I’d leave out the lemon juice if using the sharp juice of cranberries) . Red wine is the traditional cooking liquid, or use white wine.
To make your poached pears into Poire Helene, melt some dark chocolate and drizzle over, or cover the pears completely with the chocolate. Yummy!
I am going to try this recipe using apples too, as I’m sure they will be fab. You’d want to use the kind of apples that stay firm, not something like a Bramley that cooks to a fluff
- 200 ml apple juice
- 3 tblsp lemon juice
- 15 g sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 cardomom pods
- 1 tsp vanilla extract ASDA Extra Special Madagascan Vanilla Extract
- 4 pears
- Peel the pears, leave the stalk on
- In a large saucepan, place all the ingredients
- Cover the pan and simmer the pears for about 15 minutes until soft and tender
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the pears and set to one side
- Boil the cooking liquid until it is reduced to a sticky sauce
- Put the pears in a serving dish, trickle over the sauce and chill until required