Poached Pears With Ice Cream

This is one of the most elegant desserts, and it is so easy to prepare—it’s also sure to wow your friends. You can serve it with a swoosh of Greek yogurt or sour cream, but a little ice cream never hurt anyone. So go ahead and pick your favorite.

Poached Pears With Ice Cream


Prep: 10 minutes / Cook: 1 hour / Serves: 4


4 pears, slightly underripe


1 quart pomegranate juice (you can also use cherry or grape juice; just dilute with water by half)


1 lemon, cut in half


1 tablespoon vanilla extract


1 cinnamon stick


3 cloves



1. Peel the pears and then cut them in half from top to bottom. Use a spoon to remove just the seed ball. Place the pears in a medium-size pot just big enough to hold them. Add the lemon halves, juice, vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves and place the pot over medium heat. When the liquid just begins to steam, cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 45 minutes and then test the pears to see if they are cooked. They should be tender but not falling apart.


2. When the pears are cooked, remove them from the liquid with a slotted spoon and set them aside. Reduce the liquid by cooking it over medium heat until it begins to thicken just a little, about 15 minutes. Return the pears to the liquid and allow to cool.


3. Serve each person two pear halves drizzled with a little of the poaching liquid. Finish it off with the yogurt, sour cream, or ice cream topping of your choice.

Text adapted from the National Geographic Kids Cookbook, by Barton Seaver–master chef and National Geographic explorer


Impress your guests with this beautiful and tasty dessert.

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