Poached Pear Puff Pastry
Pears poached in sweet vanilla cinnamon liquid. The pears are chilled overnight in poaching liquid. The following day, pears are encased in puff pastry and baked until crisp and golden brown.
- 4 medium pears
- 5 cups water
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 Tablespoon honey
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1 large egg
- ½ Tablespoon heavy cream, or whole milk
- pinch kosher salt
- 1 sheet store bought frozen puff pastry, thawed*
Prepare cartouche, also known as parchment paper lid.*
Slice off about ¼-inch from bottom of pear to create a stable flat surface. Core pears from the bottom. Peel pears, leaving stems intact. Set aside.
In a medium heavy-bottomed sauce pot bring combine water, sugar, honey, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla bean. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
Gently submerge pears on their side in pot. Cover with cartouche. Simmer for about 15 minutes, flip pears halfway through cooking, until pears are tender. NOTE: Be careful not to overcook pears. Pears will continue to "cook" after simmering.*
Remove pot from heat. Cool pears to room temperature in the poaching liquid. Transfer to airtight container and let pears soak in liquid overnight in fridge.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Remove chilled pears from poaching liquid. Place pears on paper-towel lined plate. Set aside. NOTE: poaching liquid can be discarded or saved for other applications.
Unroll or unfold thawed puff pastry sheet. Cut out four squares to cover bottom of pears. Slice remaining sheet into ½-inch wide strips.
Place pears on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush pears all over with egg wash. Encase bottom of pear with square puff pastry.
Beginning at the bottom, wrap puff pastry strip around pear, leaving stem exposed. Repeat with remaining pears. Space pears at least 3-inch apart from each other.
Lightly brush puff pastry exterior with egg wash. Bake for 30 minutes until puff pastry is golden brown.
Allow to cool for 5-8 minutes. Transfer to serving plate. Garnish with drizzle of honey or dust with powdered sugar before serving. Enjoy warm!
- Suggested pear varieties: Barlett, Starkrimson, or Anjou. Make sure pears are slightly firm and have just turned ripe. Overripe pears will turn very soft and mushy.
- To test poached pears for doneness: pierce pear with a pairing knife or fork. The pear should be tender. However, it should NOT be soft and mushy.
- To make a cartouche: Cut a parchment circle to fit inside sauce pot. Cut a small round in center of parchment paper.
- Poaching liquid can be used as a simple syrup for teas, coffee or cocktails. See blog post for more details.
- Puff pastry is usually sold frozen in folded sheets or rolled up. For best results, thaw in the fridge overnight before use. If possible, use all-butter puff pastry instead of those made with vegetable oils.