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.
Poached Pears with Berry Purée
- 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.
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.