Stewed Pears is a simple recipe that you can make in just 15 minutes with minimal ingredients!
Quartered pears are simmered gently in a little sugar, some honey and a cinnamon stick until deliciously tender and flavorsome. The best part is that these pears team perfectly with cake, granola, yoghurt and much more which means you’ll never be bored!
Why you’ll love this recipe
What’s not to love about a recipe that takes less than 15 minutes to prepare and uses just four ingredients? Nothing! These Stewed Pears are my fav way of serving pears for dessert and I know you’ll think so too.
I remember as a child, my Italian parents would buy a whole box of pears! My father loved them with bread and cheese. That box of pears fascinated me. Each one was wrapped in a little square of tissue paper to protect it and laid carefully into the box.
Good quality, fresh pears are wonderful but stewing pears is even better. Cooking concentrates and intensifies the taste of fruit. And did you know that cooking the fruit releases extra pectin which is a special form of fiber? Studies have shown this to improve gut health and be anti-inflammatory.
Another bonus is that this recipe is so versatile. You can use it to make stewed apples or stewed prunes using the same technique and with equally good results!
For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card bottom of the page.
- Pears – These should be ripe but not too soft otherwise they’ll turn to mush.
- Sugar – You can use white, brown or raw sugar, whatever is your preference
- Honey – Choose one that you like the taste of.
- Cinnamon Stick – Just one stick imparts amazing flavor to this recipe. If you don’t like cinnamon, leave it out. It’s entirely optional.
There are quite a few adjustments you can make to this recipe and the flavorings can be varied to your taste. Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
- Omit the sugar and increase the honey.
- Use maple syrup instead of honey.
- Add slices of fresh ginger instead of cinnamon.
- Include a split vanilla bean.
- For a distinctive holiday dessert, add a few cloves and a long strip of orange zest together with the cinnamon stick.
- Substitute half of the water for either red or white wine.
- Once the pears are cooked, add a handful of dried fruit like cranberries, sour cherries, raisins or currants. The fruit will plump up in the still hot liquid.
- Peel (or not – the peel will soften during cooking and add more nutrients) the fruit and cut into quarters removing the cores.
- Combine most of the water, sugar, honey and cinnamon stick in a medium pot and bring to the boil.
- Add the fruit. You may need to add a little more water to just barely cover. Simmer until the pears are tender.
Tips for success and FAQ’s
Stewed pears are easy but try to use good quality pears that you like to eat and will hold their shape when cooked. I have used Packham pears but other good varieties to use include Anjou, Beurre Bosc and the gorgeous little Corella pears.
I like to leave the pears out at room temperature to ripen otherwise they can be hard and tasteless. Luckily in our warm climate, this happens quite easily. However if you have unripe fruit, stewing will often save it. In this case, the fruit will take a little longer to cook. Just check the tenderness with a fork.
This recipe is best made during pear season when the best fruit is available. Don’t boil vigorously but for best results, simmer gently until tender. Then leave them to sit in the liquid for at least 20 minutes to absorb all the flavors.
Store the pears in the stewing syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
They will keep well for 5 days.
Actually, yes you can! The fruit will tend to break down so if your intention is to freeze, don’t overcook – leave the pears a little on the firm side. Cool and freeze the pears in the stewing syrup. Defrost in the refrigerator.
These stewed pears are good served warm which is perfect for a winter dessert. But there’s lots of ways to enjoy them.
- Add to your granola or oatmeal
- Top with yogurt
- With vanilla ice cream
- Ass to smoothies.
- On waffles (here’s my favorite recipe – Norwegian waffles)
- With pancakes (excellent with these Nutella pancakes or these mini pancakes)
- For an extra special breakfast, served these cooked pears with my sourdough French toast and a dollop of whipped cream
- Sprinkle buttery streusel (or even granola) over to create a delicious pear crisp or crumble.
Serve with a slice of Torta Caprese – flourless chocolate and almond cake.
If you enjoyed this recipe, I’d really appreciate a star rating and a comment or tag me on instagram @marcellina.in.cucina.
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Stewed Pears Recipe
- 4 pears
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 ⅓ cups water more or less as required
- Peel the pears. Then cut into quarters and remove the cores.
- Place 1 cup of water, sugar, honey and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan. Set over high heat and bring to boil.
- Add the pear quarters and more water to barely cover the pears. Bring to the boil over high heat.
- When boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer, place the lid on and simmer gently for 5-10 minutes or until the pears are tender. Check occasionally to make sure that the pears are submerged in the liquid.
- Use a pear variety that will hold its shape when cooked – try Packham Anjou, Beurre Bosc and the gorgeous little Corella pears.
- Leave pears out at room temperature to ripen. However if you have unripe pears, stewing pears will often save them.
- You can use white, brown or raw sugar, whatever is your preference
- For best results, don’t boil but simmer gently until tender. Allow to sit in the liquid for at least 20 minutes to absorb all the flavors.