David Scott AllenDessertFlans, PuddingsProvencal RecipesTaste

Stuffed Poached Pears with Berry Purée

It’s sad to see the end of the summer stone fruit – plums, peaches, nectarines and apricots. However, in their place, a variety of apples and pears indicate the start of new dessert opportunities. This recipe for Stuffed Poached Pears includes an element of surprise.  The dessert is easy to prepare and perfect for cool weather dinner parties. You can vary the ingredients in the berry purée and the poaching liquid, depending on tastes and what you have on hand.

Stuffed Poached Pears

Poached Pears with Berry Purée

This recipe can be prepared with any variety of pear that you like. The best is to select fruit that has a large bottom (better for filling with the "surprise"). Prepare the pears and the filling in advance, a day or two ahead of serving.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 4 people


  • 4 small Pears around 4-5 oz each
  • Poaching Liquid to cover the fruit (see notes)
  • 2 tbsp Cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Curd
  • 4-6 tbsp Berry Purée see notes
  • Mint Leaves with 1/4-inch stems, for garnish


  • Core the pears leaving the tops, with stems, intact.
  • Peel the pears, and place in the poaching liquid.
  • Bring them to a boil, reduce heat, then cook at a brisk simmer for 5-10 minutes - depending on ripeness - or until easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.
  • Remove from the heat and let cool.
  • Cover and refrigerate the pears, in their poaching liquid, for several hours. Note: I find it practical to poach the pears 1 or 2 days in advance and store them refrigerated in their poaching liquid.
  • Combine the cream cheese and lemon curd and refrigerate, covered, for an hour to firm. This can also be made in advance and kept refrigerated.
  • Before dinner guests arrive, remove pears from the poaching liquid, drain, and pat dry with paper towels, including the cavity. Put a tablespoon of the lemon-cheese mixture in each cavity, scraping off any excess that won’t go in. Place the pears, standing on a plate, back in the refrigerator.
  • When time to serve, spoon a tablespoon or two of berry purée on a plate and top with a pear.
  • Using a small skewer, make a hole in the top near the stem and insert the stem of the mint leaf.


Poaching Liquid. There are so many variants, the simplest being water and sugar. The liquid may be spiced with cinnamon and ginger, or citrus peel, or flavored with wine. White wine - which is what I used - doesn’t change the color of the pear. Rosé will give them a slight blush, and red wine or port will turn them deep pink or, after sitting in their poaching liquid for a day, dark red. You need to have enough liquid to cover the pears, and for these four, I used about 1/2 cup sugar.
Berry Purée. I use fresh berries whenever I can but frozen berries are convenience an excellent substitute! Use raspberries, or a mixture of berries. Cook the berries with a little sugar and a dash of liqueur, if desired. I use Chambord, Cointreau, Triple Sec, or Amaretto. Simmer for 5 minutes or so (until berries soften - if using blueberries, they should have popped!), then cool and push through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. The longer you cook them, the thicker the purée.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More Pear Desserts

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Red Wine Poached Pears

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David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!

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