Poached Pears

Tender poached pears made with a rum apricot sauce makes a great dessert with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

Poached pears on a white sauce with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting on the plate
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A classic fancy restaurant dessert, poached pears are actually really easy to enjoy at home. Pick up some good rum and some juicy pears and cook yourself a decadent dessert you won’t forget!

Not sure what to do with your leftover apricot preserve, why not use it to make an Apricot Glaze? Or try this Classic Apricot Chicken recipe for a great weeknight meal!

Poached pears on a white sauce with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting on the plate

Poached Pears

Poached pears have a bit of a reputation as being a dessert fit only for fancy restaurants. However, once you learn how they are made, you will realize just how insanely easy it is to make it yourself, so long as you don’t mind cooking with alcohol and the risk of flare-ups!

Serve these poached pears on some ice cream, or just on their own in a big bowl for a fancy, decadent, yet super simple dessert.              

Poached pears ingredients in small white bowls

Tips For Coring Your Pears

Coring is one of those arduous and surprisingly challenging tasks that most people try and avoid where possible.

Unfortunately, if you want to get the right texture in your poached pears, you really need to core them perfectly, or you will end up with dense, hard, and almost chewy bits of core in your final dish.

Thankfully, however, coring can be incredibly easy if you have the right tool.

There are tools that can core apples with just one firm push, and these will work on pears just as well, assuming your pears aren’t overly large.

If you can’t find a fruit corer, however, you can approximate it using a knife pretty easily.

Using a thin paring knife, just cut off the sides of the pear, trying to cut as close to the core as possible, creating four long, thick slices of pear that peel away from the center.

After discarding the core, you should be left with completely coreless slices of pear! Just make sure to remember to peel the pear first, as it will prove pretty challenging to try and peel the skin off of individual slices of pear.

Poached pears in a pot with the sauce

Do You Have To Use Rum Or Can You Make This Recipe Without Alcohol?

Almost all poached fruit recipes are going to involve some amount of rum or other spirits, because otherwise, what would you be poaching them in?

Just using sweetened water would probably result in nothing more than a soggy, sad pear, not to mention the total lack of flavor.

Rum, and other spirits like it, have an absolute ton of flavor, and if you don’t use something like it, then your pears just won’t taste right.

Rum Substitutions

However, if you really cannot use anything alcoholic in your cooking, you could substitute some more flavorful liquids like a rum flavoring that might be able to contribute a similar flavor profile.

Something like apple juice and a little bit of lemon juice could work quite well, so long as you increase the amount of vanilla extract you use to help compensate for the lack of vanilla flavor from not using the rum.

Really, anything that has a good amount of flavor that can pair well with a pair can be used, so long as you do actually choose something that tastes good.

Poached pears on a white plate with a spoon in one pear

How Long Will Your Poached Pears Last?

After poaching your pears, they should be surprisingly supple and delicate, with a gentle texture that almost falls apart when you run a spoon through them.

This loose texture is obviously going to make the pears pretty difficult to store in the long term because any faint jostle or agitation can cause them to break apart.

If you are really not going to be eating your pears on the day you make them, then try and store them in a firmly lidded container with as little agitation as possible.

To get them into the container, try and use a big spoon to help shift them over without breaking them apart, and don’t forget to include some of the juices you poached them in as well. The liquid will not only add flavor but also help to stave off oxygen damage to the pears as they sit in the fridge for up to around a week.

Poached pears and a white jug of sauce about to be poured overtop

Can You Use This Poaching Method For Other Fruits?

This recipe is intended to be used with some tasty pears, as their unique combination of slight tang and the sweet flavor works really well with poaching.

However, if you aren’t a pear lover, you could certainly try the same recipe with any number of different fruits!

  • Peaches

Peaches are a great alternative to pears, in that they have a surprisingly similar texture once they have cooked down for a bit. The poached peaches will definitely be a touch sweeter, but still just as good as pears.

  • Apples

A common replacement for pears in any application, poached apples can work, but they will turn a bit mushy if you cook them as long as the pears.

  • Figs

Figs can become super tasty when poached, but make sure you watch them carefully, as their texture can go from sweet and chewy to mushy in an instant.

Looking for more delicious fruity Dessert recipes? Try these out:

Grape Salad

Fruit Pizza

Summer Berry Fruit Salad

Happy Cooking



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Tender poached pears made with a rum apricot sauce makes a great dessert with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

Poached Pears

Tender poached pears made with a rum apricot sauce makes a great dessert with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
5 from 4 votes
Poached pears on a white sauce with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting on the plate
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup spiced rum
  • 5-6 Bosc, Anjou or Bartlett pears (peeled, cored and cut in half)
  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water


  • Prepare your ripe pears by peeling and coring the pears and slicing them in half lengthwise. Set them aside. If the pears aren't very ripe they may need to cook a bit longer.
  • In a medium saucepan over high heat add the 1 ½ cups water, sugar, rum and vanilla extract. Bring it to a boil, and add in 5 or 6 pear halves, and reduce the heat to medium and simmer gently for about 5 – 6 minutes until the pears are tender. Remove the pears to a covered dish.
  • Add the rest of the uncooked pears into the pan and simmer for 5-6 minutes removing them once cooked.
  • Boil the rest of the syrup in the pan on medium high heat until it has reduced down to about 1 cup. Add in the apricot preserves and bring it back up to a boil.
  • In a small bowl add the 2 tablespoons water and 2 tablespoons cornstarch and mix well. Stir it quickly into the boiling syrup and mix quickly for about 30 seconds until it thickens up.
  • To serve this add one or two slices of pear on a plate and pour the sauce over top. Serve with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. Aeil says

    This is the easiest recipe that’s delicious and awesome I’ll make sure that is on
    Rotation once a week
    I used leftover sauce on chicken leg quarters they were super delicious
    Thank you for sharing your recipes
    There all easy delicious awesomely
    great 👍👍⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️5 stars

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