Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ginger Poached Pears with Gorgonzola and Walnuts

Ginger Poached Pears with Gorgonzola and Walnuts

When summer fruit season ends, I usually mourn until I hit the market and discover the autumn bounty of figs, apples and pears.  Especially the pears. For out of hand, sweet juice dripping down your chin, eating, I'm partial to Bartletts.  But for any cooking or baking, I turn to the slightly firmer Boscs. I also happen to think they're the prettiest.  What? You don't think pears are pretty?  Pfft.

Ginger Poached Pears with Gorgonzola and Walnuts
Speaking of pretty, how wonderfully snazzy looking it is to be presented with a dish of poached pears at a restaurant. Clearly it took hours and great expertise., it didn't. Simple as can be, actually.

You can tell if a pear is ripe, by the way, by gently pressing your thumb against its "neck." If it yields, it's ripe. But for poaching it's actually better to start with a pear that's still a bit firm.

You can get more tips, read about the different varieties of pears and see which ones are being harvested now at the USA Pears web site.

Ginger Poached Pears with Gorgonzola and Walnuts
Now to choose the flavor of the poaching liquid. Wine is popular, as is a plain vanilla syrup. But I chose to use ginger because it adds both taste and a wonderful aroma and it's a great combo with pears.

A few simple steps and about 15 minutes gets you perfectly poached pears that look complicated and professional. Dessert with ice cream is a natural. Breakfast with granola and a dollop of yogurt is a great use for any leftovers. But my favorite flavor combination with pears is a sharp, blue cheese. You can make a salad but I thought more in terms of a cheese plate. Some strong Gorgonzola, a few toasted walnuts and that lovely ginger pear. I'm sure my guests would be very impressed...if I ever decided to share.  Enjoy!

4 Bosc pears
3 Cups water
1 Cup sugar
2 Hands fresh ginger, cut into pieces
Zest of 1 lemon
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 Cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1/2 Cup toasted chopped walnuts

Ginger Poached Pears with Gorgonzola and Walnuts
Add the water, sugar, ginger and salt to a large pot and bring to boil. Peel the pears and add them to the liquid. Reduce the heat to medium so that the pears are simmering gently, not boiling. Cook for approximately 15 minutes. I inserted a toothpick into the widest part of the pear and tested until it went in easily.

Remove the pears with a slotted spoon, raise the heat and reduce the poaching liquid for another 15 minutes or until it's reduced in half.

Place one pear on each of four plates, spoon a bit of the reduced liquid over each and divide the cheese and nuts equally on each. Serve at room temperature either as an appetizer or as a cheese course after dinner.  Makes 4 servings.

Ginger Poached Pears with Gorgonzola and Walnuts
A Hand of Ginger
Save that ginger reduction, by the way.  Strain it and pour into a bottle with a stopper, stash it in the fridge and use it to sweeten tea or cocktails.

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


  1. Anita - this is GORGEOUS!!! Absolutely perfect for the holiday

  2. Pears and gorgonzola, this is so you! Can you believe I've never poached pears before? These ginger poached ones look so easy.

  3. This is gorgeous! I love the idea of turning the poached pears into a cheese course. I think I've only ever seen them as a dessert course. What a wonderful idea!

  4. I love poached pears but I've never done them like this. Pears go so well with cheese, especially gorgonzola. I'll be making these soon!

  5. mmmmm pears and gorg. It's been awhile. I need this in my life :)

  6. I know it's not strictly a dessert but poached pears, even with some blue cheese and walnuts still qualify as a sweet thing in my book. A very delicious sweet thing!

  7. I love pears all year round but definitely eat more of it in the fall. I totally gotta try this! I can't wait to make it and smell the ginger throughout my kitchen. Thanks for the recipe!


  8. You had me at ginger...but seriously, these pears look AMAZING! I'm definitely going to have to try them!


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