Honey-Poached Pears With Burrata

December 9, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Consider this your excuse to eat cheese for dessert (not that you needed one). Burrata is like mozzarella gone rogue—a milky orb, filled with cheese curds and cream. Here, it guest-stars alongside a poached pear, where you’d normally find whipped cream or ice cream. I have a feeling you’ll like this even better. Emma Laperruque

Serves: 6
Prep time: 2 hrs 30 min
Cook time: 30 min

Ingredients

  • 6 Bosc pears, firm (ripe in a few days), stem still attached
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle dry vermouth
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons (128 grams) honey
  • 1 pinch flaky salt, plus more to finish
  • 12 ounces burrata, divided into 6 equal portions
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Find a pot that comfortably fits the 6 pears standing up. (For me, this was a 3-quart saucepan.)
  2. Add the vermouth, water, honey, and a pinch of salt to the pot. Set on the stove over medium heat to bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the honey dissolves.
  3. Meanwhile, peel the pears in big, long strips from stem to bottom. You want the pears as smooth as possible and for the stem to remain attached. (If you lose the stem by accident—no worries! It’ll still taste great.)
  4. Carefully add the pears to the simmering poaching liquid. Cover the pears with a lid that’s one size too small for the pot, so it helps keep them submerged (depending on the size of your pot, they’ll probably slouch and lean over—that’s totally fine). Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer (boiling is too brash for the fragile fruit).
  5. Simmer the pears, covered, for 10 to 25 minutes. “That’s a big range!” you say. And you’re correct. But the only person who can say when your pear is perfectly done is you. Turn them every so often so they cook evenly. After 10 minutes, start checking them often so they don’t overcook. To check: Pierce the bottom of the pear with a cake tester or toothpick; it should meet little resistance. Since the pears will continue to cook off the heat (thanks to carry-over cooking), you want them slightly less tender than you’d like to serve them. When they’re your desired softness, remove the pears from the pot and add to a 2.5-quart baking dish. There’s a good chance that some will be ready before others; totally fine—just remove them first.
  6. After you’ve removed the pears, raise the heat under the pot and bring to a boil. Boil for about 20 minutes, or until the poaching liquid has thickened into a syrupy consistency and measures about 1 to 1 1/4 cups, depending on how thick you’d like it.
  7. Pour the syrup over the pears. Refrigerate until totally chilled, at least 2 hours.
  8. To serve the pears: Add each whole pear to a shallow bowl. Pour an even amount of syrup on top of each pear. Add 1 portion of burrata (about 2 ounces) alongside each pear. Sprinkle flaky salt on top. Eat with a spoon.

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Reviews (11) Questions (0)

11 Reviews

Becka January 17, 2019
Delicious and different! Husband and I thoroughly enjoyed this for dessert two nights in a row! (We made four pears instead of six). Drizzled the whole thing with a little extra honey and sprinkled with Maldon salt before serving- perfection!
 
Lauren R. January 12, 2019
I was so excited to make this, but I must have done something wrong. Poached the pears for about 35 minutes and they’re not soft enough. Also, when I tried to continue cooking the “syrup” it did not become any more congealed. Just remains liquid.
 
Author Comment
Emma L. January 14, 2019
Hi Lauren! Sorry to hear that. 35 minutes is a long time...were the pears very firm? And the syrup should remain liquidy—the boiling just reduces it a bit. If you want it even thicker, cooking longer should do the trick.
 
Denise P. January 9, 2019
How far in advance can the pears be refrigerated. I know it says at least two hours but can I poach them the day before? Making for a dinner party on Saturday. Can't wait! Thanks.
 
Author Comment
Emma L. January 9, 2019
Hi Denise—you can definitely poach them the day before! Hope you enjoy!
 
cosmiccook January 6, 2019
You show Dolin white vermouth; other than color would red vermouth work as well--I have an extra bottle I got by mistake and would love to use it up.
 
Author Comment
Emma L. January 6, 2019
Hi! Red vermouth is a lot sweeter, so I would either dilute it more with water, reduce the amount of honey, or both.
 
Earl E. December 31, 2018
This was a divine desert. I toasted some chopped pistachios and put them on top as well. The visual and crunch moved it up to the next level for me. Thank you.
 
Author Comment
Emma L. January 1, 2019
So glad you enjoyed—thank you! Love the idea of adding pistachios.
 
Ella Q. December 12, 2018
Wow! Can't wait to make this. What's your favorite honey brand for this recipe?
 
Author Comment
Emma L. December 12, 2018
Yay! I loved using a dark, raw honey, which brought a sort of malty sweetness. But whatever your fave honey is (slash whatever is in your pantry) will be perf!