Poached pears with poached, spiced figs

Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields Serves 6
Poached pears with poached, spiced figs
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Poached, spiced figs


Bring all the ingredients but the figs to a simmer in a nonreactive saucepan. Add the figs and cook them at a very slight simmer until they are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the figs.


Remove the figs to a container with a slotted spoon, raise the heat, bring the syrup to a boil, and reduce by one-third. Pour it over the figs and chill. Keeps for 1 to 2 weeks.

Poached pears


Peel the pears, leaving the stems on. Core them with an apple corer, then slice a bit off the bottom so they cook upright. (Alternatively, you can halve them, remove the stems and core them.)


Bring 4 1/2 cups water, the sugar, lemon, vanilla and Poire William (if using) to a simmer in a large saucepan, then add the pears. Cook, covered, until the pears are tender but not mushy -- 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the ripeness of the pears.


When the pears are done, remove them from the poaching liquid and boil the remaining liquid until reduced by half. Pour the syrup over the pears and chill.


To serve, divide the poached pears among 6 bowls, and spoon one-sixth of the poached figs over each.

The poached, spiced figs are adapted from Chez Panisse Desserts by Lindsey Remolif Shere.

Amy Scattergood is a staff writer for the Food section of the Los Angeles Times.
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