- In a small saucepan, bring the water, sugar, and lemon juice to a boil. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Peel the pears, being careful to keep the stalk. With a melon baller, core the pears from the base up, so as to keep the pears whole.
- Place the pears upright in the simmering syrup and cook for about 20 minutes over low heat, according to the firmness of the pears, until tender with a knife. Remove from the heat, let cool, then refrigerate the pears in the syrup until completely chilled. Remove the pears and reduce the syrup until syrupy. Refrigerate or serve warm.
Substitute the water with white, red or port wine. For kids, use red cranberry juice.
Lemon juice prevents the browning of the pears.
Revisit the recipe
For pears Belle Helene, serve the poached pears with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.
You can also serve the pears on large shortbread or scone halves, and then top with poaching syrup.
You can add whole spices of your choice when poaching pears: cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, cardamom, Szechuan pepper, allspice.