In season, poached pears are a favorite breakfast side dish for my family. It takes just a few moment to quarter and seed the pears then set them in a gentle, slow simmer. On the stove top, they steep in their own sweetness with just a kiss of honey or maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg, while we get ready for work or school–and the scent is killer.
Though there are winter varieties of pears, many of the commercial crops are heavy and sweet and soften very quickly making them difficult to store over the winter–and once pears start to soften you need to use them quickly. Poaching will also bring brightness to dull flavored pears. Poach extra pears and let them brood in the fridge in their own syrup. Pull them back out and gently reheat to serve with granola or a spiced cake.