Poached pears

Time 50 minutes
Yields Serves 8
Poached pears

Combine the sugar, 3 cups water, vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, orange peel and lemon juice in a 2-quart saucepan. Simmer until the syrup is clear, 2 minutes.


Add the pears; bring to a simmer. Place a circle of parchment paper over the pears. Cover the pan and simmer until the pears are tender, 30 minutes. Add the port. Place the pears and liquid in a bowl so that the pears are submerged. Place another parchment round on the pears. Cover; chill overnight.


Remove the pears from the syrup. Reduce the syrup in a small saucepan over medium-high heat to 1 cup. Cool, then chill.


To serve, cut the pears in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut each pear half into thirds and fan out on top of each spongecake round. Place a teaspoon of yogurt on top, then a half teaspoon of the honey. Drizzle the chilled syrup around each cake round.

Use a 2-inch round cutter to cut circles from a home-baked or purchased spongecake.

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