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Apple Cider Poached Pears

in Breakfast, Desserts, Sides

poached pears 7Some foods notoriously sound fancy, stuffy, and complicated.  These same foods normally intimidate me and, as a result, in the past I have shied away from making them.  Baking my own bread has always been on that “intimidating list,” as has making homemade pies and poaching pears.  For some reason, the idea of “poaching” something always used to scare me (no pun intended since I am a vegetarian and all).

I do not like to admit this very often, but I was wrong.  When it comes to poaching pears, the process could not be simpler.  If you can peel pears, combine five ingredients in a pot, and boil ingredients… guess what?  You can make poached pears!

Now that pear season is well underway, I encourage you to try something new in the kitchen and get to pear poaching!  Traditional recipes call for wine when poaching pears.  But if you want to get a little more creative, you can try using other liquids like tea, coconut milk, bourbon, or coffee.  You can really use any liquid that you enjoy on its own.  For my first pear poaching experience, I wanted to use a classic Fall staple: apple cider.

poached pears 8You are going to impress the heck out of your family and friends with these Apple Cider Poached Pears this Fall and Winter.  But lucky for you, they only seem fancy and complicated.

poached pearsMy Fall-inspired poached pears start out with four simple ingredients: pears, apple cider, whole cloves, and cinnamon sticks.

poached pears 2Add in your sweetener of choice (coconut sugar for me) and you are all set!

poached pears 6Apple Cider Poached Pears

Serves 4


3 large or 6 small under-ripe USA Pears (I used Green Anjou)*
2 cups apple cider (I used 100% juice honey crisp apple cider)
1 cup water
2 whole cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
1/3 cup coconut sugar (brown sugar works well, too!)

*You can easily determine if a pear is under-ripe or ripe by gently applying pressure to the narrow “neck” of the pear with your thumb.  If the pear gives to pressure, it is ripe.  The poaching method enables you to use pears even when they are crisp and under-ripe, which is perfect for impatient people like me!


1. Begin by peeling the pears and cutting them into segments.  Discard the core of each pear.

poached pears 42. Combine the pears, apple cider, water, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and sugar in a large pot or dutch oven.  Stir until well-combined.

3. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a low boil.

4. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low, cover, and simmer for approximately 25 minutes.

5. Pierce the pears with a fork to ensure that they are cooked through.  Be careful not to cook the pears for too long, as they will get mushy.  Once the pears are cooked to your liking, remove them from the pan and set aside to cool.

6. Turn the heat back to high and bring the remaining ingredients to a rolling boil.  Boil for approximately 5 to 10 minutes, or until the liquid turns into a sweet syrup.

7. Pour the syrup over the pears.

8. Serve immediately, or store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

poached pears 5These Fall-spiced pears taste fantastic all on their own, but my favorite way to serve them is as a topping for hot oatmeal.

poached pearsThe slightly sweet pears with their accompanying syrup provide the perfect amount of sweetness to a bowl of hot oats.  I did not add any additional sweetener to my oats, and instead used these Apple Cider Poached Pears as a natural sweetener.  With a little nut or seed butter to top off your bowl, you will be eating a “fancy” breakfast that looks and sounds much more complex than it really is.  You sure cannot beat sweet and healthy.

poached pears 2Have I convinced you yet?  Poached pears are delicious, flavorful, and beyond easy to make.  I bet even my mom- who has very few cooking skills- could make these!  Sorry mom!

Have you ever made poached pears?

What liquid would you choose to poach your pears with?

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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{ 67 comments… add one }
  • Debbie @ Live from La Quinta November 2, 2014, 10:31 pm
    Yes, I am convinced! Those look yummy (and easy)! Debbie @ Live from La Quinta recently posted...Trottin’ to La Quinta. Plus My Birthday! And My DadMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 4:52 pm
      Thanks Debbie! They truly are both of those things!
  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine November 2, 2014, 11:05 pm
    I've never poached pears, not this sounds awesome! Especially atop oatmeal!!! Red Wine placed pears have always intrigued me though! Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted...Friday Finisher 10/31/14My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 4:54 pm
      I did not originally go into this recipe planning to top oatmeal with the pears... but I am so glad I tried it. It was such an awesome combination!
  • Jessie November 3, 2014, 1:02 am
    Just when I thought they couldn't look anymore delicious, you threw in the oatmeal photo. Mmm!! Question: Now would I just use equal amount of coconut milk as you did w/ the Apple Cider? Jessie recently posted...Babies Update: 27 Weeks & 3 DaysMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 8:23 pm
      I have not tried it with coconut milk yet, but I would assume that is exactly what you would do! Please let me know if you try it :)
  • Linz @ Itz Linz November 3, 2014, 5:36 am
    those look delicious - especially in oatmeal! Linz @ Itz Linz recently posted...William’s First HalloweenMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 8:28 pm
      Thanks Linz!! It makes oatmeal go from delicious to amaaazing!
  • Brittany @ Delights and Delectables November 3, 2014, 6:04 am
    I've never tried poached pears, but now I MUST! Brittany @ Delights and Delectables recently posted...Working Out in FashionMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 8:33 pm
      This was my first time, too, and it definitely will not be the last. I am now a poached pear lover!
  • carol whitcomb November 3, 2014, 7:25 am
    Cold weather is here! YUk. Any good hot soup recipes?? cmw
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 8:33 pm
      Tons of them! http://cleaneatingveggiegirl.com/category/recipes/soups/
  • Jennifer Pritchard November 3, 2014, 7:46 am
    These look fantastic! Love your pictures too. Very eye catching :)
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 8:34 pm
      Thank you, Jennifer!! I SO appreciate that :)
  • Julie @ Running in a Skirt November 3, 2014, 7:50 am
    I've never made poached pairs before, but it sounds glorious! Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted...Thoughts on Losing my MotherMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 8:38 pm
      They really are! You should absolutely give them a try. I think you will be amazed at how delicious and easy to make they are.
  • Joanna @Makingmine November 3, 2014, 8:21 am
    Oh these look amazing! I've actually been on a pear kick lately. I've been trying to convince Eleanor that they're yummy, but she's not convinced yet. Maybe this special recipe will do the trick ;) Joanna @Makingmine recently posted...behind the scenes blog tourMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 8:47 pm
      This honestly might do the trick! I used to not love pears when I was younger, but after trying this method of preparing them... I am HOOKED!
  • Molly November 3, 2014, 8:50 am
    Here is my "secret" cheat for homemade bread: http://www.shortstopblog.com/2009/10/homemade-beer-bread.html I make it ALL the time. It is seriously so easy and people rave about it. It tastes like it took a lot of effort when really it requires 6 ingredients and about 2 minutes to prep (and best of all - no yeast and no rising!).
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 8:49 pm
      Oh yay!! I am pretty darn excited about this :) I also love that it is made with beer! Thanks for sharing, Molly!
  • Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie November 3, 2014, 8:53 am
    Why do I always forget how amazing pears are? Poor pears get pushed to the side by apples and pumpkins this time of year. Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie recently posted...Life Goal Complete: Chicago Style PizzaMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 8:51 pm
      I think a lot of us are guilty of that. BUT this is a great reminder of how delicious and versatile pears really are. They have definitely become one of my favorite Fall fruits!
  • Christina @ The Beautiful Balance November 3, 2014, 8:53 am
    Pinning this now! Love that these are poached in apple cider and I happen to have all of the ingredients on hand to make this. Christina @ The Beautiful Balance recently posted...Super Fluffy Banana Bread CakeMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 8:53 pm
      It sounds like this recipe is meant to be! ;) Let me know if you try it!
  • Ellen @ From Scratch November 3, 2014, 10:02 am
    These look so simple, but so delicious! Can't wait to try them! Ellen @ From Scratch recently posted...Posole Verde - Ancient Comfort FoodMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 8:54 pm
      They are both simple AND delicious! It is true what they say that sometimes the simplest things are the best things!
  • Jehancancook November 3, 2014, 10:03 am
    I love this! I love how this recipe captures fall perfectly! I'm a huge fan of recipes using apple cider and will be trying this out. It will bring variety to my son's morning oatmeal.
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 8:55 pm
      I hope you and your son really enjoy it! These poached pears definitely kick traditional oatmeal up a notch. Let me know if you try them!
  • Lynn @ Order in the Kitchen November 3, 2014, 10:05 am
    Oh I love this idea! Poached pears sounds like the perfect dessert! Need to make this!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 10:08 pm
      They are SO perfect for a healthy dessert. Let me know if you give them a try!
  • heinstirred November 3, 2014, 10:13 am
    Such a clever flavour combination - and how divine with oats!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 10:14 pm
      Thank you! These poached pears are definitely perfect with oats! I hope you give them a try :)
  • elizabeth @LocalSavour November 3, 2014, 11:05 am
    Anything with coconut sugar ... YUM! elizabeth @LocalSavour recently posted...{Slow Cooker} Honey Apple Challah StuffingMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 10:15 pm
      I SO agree, Elizabeth! Coconut sugar is the best!
  • Jen Austen November 3, 2014, 11:24 am
    Wow! You've convinced me - Giving this recipe a go soon! Thanks for sharing. Jen Austen recently posted...Meatball Shop: Meatball, Meatball, Spaghetti Underneath!My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 10:17 pm
      I'm so glad to hear that, Jen!! Let me know what you think!
  • Mom November 3, 2014, 11:55 am
    This does look like a recipe that even I could handle...and yes I do have limited cooking skills!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 10:18 pm
      Yes, you could definitely handle this one! I think you would quite enjoy it too :)
  • GiselleR @ Diary of an ExSloth November 3, 2014, 11:58 am
    Oh ha, delicious doesn't even begin to describe how good this sounds. I've got like 20 pears after a trip to the farmers market and no idea what to do with them, so thanks! GiselleR @ Diary of an ExSloth recently posted...25 Deliciously Healthy Breakfasts to Enjoy this FallMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 10:22 pm
      This is the PERFECT way to use up pears since you can prep and prepare SO many all at once! I hope you enjoy it!
  • Nancy November 3, 2014, 12:21 pm
    Now I KNOW this would be freaking delicious to warm your belly on a chilly morning like we had today. Nancy recently posted...Coffee and CroissantsMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 10:25 pm
      They really are! Warm, cidery pears are the best!!
  • Dana @ fresh simple five November 3, 2014, 1:38 pm
    This does sound really simple! I've been loving pears right now since they are in season, but would have never thought to poach them. Thanks for sharing! Dana @ fresh simple five recently posted...Sun-Dried Tomato Cannellini Bean PastaMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 10:26 pm
      I am definitely learning how delicious and versatile pears really can be. This Fall version is definitely one of my favorite ways to eat them so far!
  • Elizabeth @ bowl of delicious! November 3, 2014, 2:58 pm
    I loveee poached pears but I never think to make them! I can't wait to try this! And I LOVE the ideas of putting them over oatmeal. Yum yum yum. Like your blog- I'm a whole foodie too :-) Pinned! Elizabeth @ bowl of delicious! recently posted...Cilantro Jalapeno PestoMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 10:27 pm
      Thank you Elizabeth!! I SO appreciate that! Isn't it crazy how we find foods we love, but never make them because they sound intimidating? I am so excited that pears are actually SUPER easy to poach. I hope you give them a try!
  • Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes November 3, 2014, 3:48 pm
    I did this campaign too!! It was so much fun poaching pears! I love your version. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes recently posted...Milky Way Stuffed Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip CookiesMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 10:28 pm
      Wasn't it so fun?? I had no clue how easy it was! I am so glad that I know now. I definitely plan on making these several more times this Fall.
  • Liz Nwansi November 3, 2014, 4:19 pm
    You are TOTALLY accurate in saying poached pears sounds too intense too make. You make it super easy though, definitely changed my mind Liz Nwansi recently posted...PENELOPE'S 1ST BIRTHDAYMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 10:30 pm
      I don't know why, but there is just something about "poaching pears" that sounds complicated, right? I am SO glad that I was able to try out this cooking method because now I know that it is not difficult at all. I hope you give pear poaching a try!
  • Kim November 3, 2014, 4:42 pm
    These sound so good! On top of oatmeal is much healthier than my initial thought of putting them on top of some vanilla ice cream. Kim recently posted...The Preemie And The RocketteMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 10:31 pm
      Oh my gosh, I have no idea how I never thought of that! I like the way you think! ;)
  • Annie Heiss November 3, 2014, 5:01 pm
    I would never have ever considered making these before reading this post! Seems like the perfect oatmeal topping. Love the coconut sugar as the sweetener - perfect and caramely. Also, seems like a great way to use pears that are on the verge of going bad! Great post :) Annie Heiss recently posted...New {Plant-Based} Product Finds 5My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 10:33 pm
      Yes to everything you just said! Isn't coconut sugar the winner of sweeteners? I'm obsessed!
  • Alexis @ Hummusapien November 3, 2014, 5:51 pm
    Pears on oatmeal AND there's apple cider involved?! Breakfast of champions!! I'm in :)
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 3, 2014, 10:35 pm
      It is definitely a triple threat! It is no wonder why I look forward to breakfast every morning when I am able to eat things like this!
  • Kay @ Kay Bueno November 3, 2014, 11:31 pm
    Omg. Great recipe. But the best part is that I never knew how to tell the ripeness of pears, and I eat them all the time. Which is such a bummer when I bite into a pear as hard as an apple. So amazing. Kay @ Kay Bueno recently posted...Halloween Weekend, the ugly and the not so ugly.My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 4, 2014, 4:07 pm
      Haha! Unripened fruit is no bueno (unelss you are poaching pears!). I am so glad that you now know the difference. I am sure you will have much more pleasant pear eating experiences from now on :)
  • Gabi | LeanGreenIslandGirl November 4, 2014, 7:20 am
    Hmm, I love poached pears...and on oatmeal, looks delicious! Gabi | LeanGreenIslandGirl recently posted...Baking with Leftover Halloween CandyMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 4, 2014, 4:08 pm
      It is a killer combination! You should definitely give these a try :)
  • Jamie | Jamie's Recipes November 4, 2014, 8:58 pm
    What a crazy easy recipe that yields such sophisticated results. Jamie | Jamie's Recipes recently posted...Pretzel DogsMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 4, 2014, 10:31 pm
      I love the way you put that, Jamie. These certainly seem very sophisticated, but are SO easy to make!
  • Victoria November 6, 2014, 10:42 am
    What a great idea! This look DELICIOUS!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 7, 2014, 1:25 pm
      Thank you Victoria!! I really really enjoyed these and have plans to make them again soon. I hope you give them a try :)
      • Victoria November 10, 2014, 6:35 pm
        I sure will be giving these a try! :)

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