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Honeyed Pears in Puff Pastry


Poaching fruit is one of my favorite things to do when cold weather arrives.  It's so warming to stand over a boiling pot of fragrant spices and lose yourself in thought.  When I made these, I couldn't help but daydream as I stirred;  if I were a pear... I wouldn't want to spend my days on the shelf of a cold produce department.  I'd want to be taken to a warm home and placed in a jacuzzi of honey and spices.  I'd want to be wrapped in an extra long puff pastry scarf and baked until golden and toasty.

That sounds a little silly, but that's what I'd want... if I were a pear. 

The idea for these came from the Pepperidge Farm website.  They looked so much like little bee hives that I decided to poach them with honey. 


On a personal note, our Christmas tree is already up courtesy of  Mr. Baird.  I have (gratefully) been inundated with projects and handed the tree decorating baton over to him.  I am ashamed to say that I was hesitant to do this. I'm a little obsessive when it comes to decorating, and my past Christmas trees have been a little too "department-store looking" (his words).  I must say, his new ornament choices are charming, and have an almost Scandinavian feel.  I love it!



Since poaching is a relatively easy task, I'll skip to some helpful tips for wrapping the pears in puff pastry.  You'll need a small cup of water, a paint brush and 1 sheet of puff pastry cut into 1/2 inch strips.


The poaching liquid has a high concentration of sugar, so your pears will be sticky.  The pastry will have no problem sticking to the surface of the pear.  Begin wrapping the puff pastry in a tight spiral from the bottom of the pear up.  When you come to the end of your first strip of pastry (above, left) brush a little water on the end and press to adhere the pastry pieces. Continue to wrap in a tight spiral.


When you reach the top, tuck in the end piece of pastry behind the last spiral.




Honeyed Pears in Puff Pastry                  [click for printable]

4 small pears
1 sheet of ready made puff pastry dough, thawed
4 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 cup honey
1/2 lemon
1 vanilla bean, seeded with hull reserved
3 sticks of cinnamon
6-8 whole cloves

Peel pears and core from the bottom.  Cut the bottom of the pears strait across, so they will stand upright.  Set aside.  

In a medium saucepan, combine the 4 cups water, 2 cups sugar and 1 cup honey.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  When the sugar has melted, add the pears, vanilla seeds and hull, 1/2 lemon, cinnamon and cloves.  Simmer pears until they are fork tender.  This can take 20-40 minutes, depending on the ripeness of your pears.  

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

When the pears are soft, remove them from the pot and allow them to cool slightly.  Discard solid pieces from saucepan and reserve 1 1/2 cups of the poaching liquid.  While pears are cooling, cut the puff pastry into 1/2" strips.  One sheet of puff pastry will cover 4 small pears.  Large pears will need a second sheet of puff pastry to compensate.

Wrap cooled pears with puff pastry starting at the bottom and working upwards.  When you come to the end of a pastry strip, brush it lightly with water and press to adhere to the next pastry strip.  Continue wrapping until you reach the top of the pear.  Tuck the end of the last pastry piece behind the previous dough spiral.  Place wrapped pears on a parchment lined jelly roll pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until puff pastry is golden brown. 

Simmer the reserved poaching liquid over medium heat until thick and syrupy.  Plate pears and top with syrup.


*NOTE: Your favorite blend of spices can be used in this recipe - go crazy! 



94 comments :

  1. These are so beautiful! And I love that your tree is up already. Ours is going up this weekend!

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  2. Beautiful! Never thought to wrap poached pears in pastry, I'll have to try that!

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  3. You are amazing--it's insane! Beee-u-tee-full!

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  4. This is one of the most beautiful fruit dishes I've ever seen, I love it!

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  5. Oh my friend...now that is a Pear fit for a KING!!!! Your images always inspire..stunning. xoxoxo

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  6. That's a brilliant idea! You're always so inspiring. & gorgeous pictures as usual!

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  7. These look like little works of art!!!

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  8. BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!! I mean really, it such a perfect looking dessert!

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  9. wow!! Look so beautiful! I am sure that taste is very good too^^

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  10. these pears are gorgeous. i make poached pears quite frequently, but haven't thought to wrap them like a beautiful gift as you have.

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  11. wow, i'm not even a fan of pears, but those look really cool

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  12. Oh my, they're stunning! Love the little Russian doll ornament too.

    Have a great weekend.

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  13. This has to be one of the most elegant desserts I've ever seen. Absolutely beautiful! Plus, I've been meaning to try to make poached pears anyway, and this recipe of yours is my best excuse yet. Thanks so much for sharing! I'm so glad I found your blog, Heather.

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  14. This looks incredible!! Already planning to make it soon! :)

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  15. YUM!!! What a gorgeous idea to wrap them in puff pastry!! xox

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  16. Your pears sound and look delicious.

    I can't believe your xmas tree is up already. The sun is shining here in Spain and it just doesn't feel like xmas yet!

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  17. Your pears are so lovely. I'll have to bookmark this one -- it looks delicious and easy!

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  18. What a gorgeous presentation! I bet the pears taste simply delicious :).

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  19. These are absolutely gorgeous - and so simple as well! Amazing. :)

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  20. Just the looks of these are sooo fancy--I bet they taste amazing too :-)

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  21. This looks delicious and those ornaments are adorable! Do you happen to know where they came from? They're totally my ornament style!

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  22. What a great idea! The pears look so neat like this. I love poached pears, I will have to give this a try!

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  23. oh my word, these are gorgeous and i can't imagine how amazing they taste!

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  24. Such a beautiful and classy dessert, love it! I also love your cute owl :-).

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  25. wow, it looks so yummy!!! nice presentation too

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  26. To A Bitchin' Kitchen, (Hi there!)

    Most all of the ornaments came from Target. I only found a link to the owls online, but they should be available in-store most everywhere. (I would think).

    The little wooden owls link:

    http://tinyurl.com/2d4gmqa

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  27. amazing looking! seriously drooling over here!

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  28. They look like little beehives! I would so make a little bumblebee somehow to put beeside it! But I'm dorky like that.

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  29. These are simply gorgeous! I can't wait to make them for my family and see their jaws drop :)

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  30. You always take a recipe to the next level and I just love your pear analogy regarding the jacuzzi! You are so delightful! As usual your presentation is flawless. And that sweet little hooty owl on your tree, yes Mr. Baird did REAL good! ~Lili

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  31. Wow. These are beautiful! And I'm sure yummy, too.

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  32. amazing, i can't wait to try them!

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  33. Hah! I love their little scarves. Nice presentation.

    And I'm liking your tree decorations. :)

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  34. I keep thinking your not gonna top your last post and yet time and time again you do it.

    Fabulous photos!
    ~ingrid

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  35. Heather, you are the Master (Mistress?) of gorgeous desserts. Love this! Thanks for sharing with us.
    Best regards,
    Gloria P.S. Love your/your hubby tree decorations!

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  36. This is such a creative idea Heather! Love what you say here - "jacuzzi of honey and spices" Yes, enrobed in the pastry & honey is a much more fun place than the grocery store. Gotta tweet this now!! xo

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  37. Wow, these are gorgeous. Amazing pictures!

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  38. If I were a pear, I'd want you to buy me! ;)
    This looks totally awesome. I would love to see pictures of your decorations this holiday! (hint hint)

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  39. This is simply amazing...what a gorgeous idea for a holiday table.

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  40. These look spectacular! I can't wait to get my Christmas tree, then it really feels like the holidays.

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  41. These pears look beautiful and delicious.
    Great idea and photos.
    Greetings, Diana

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  42. It seems that we were both in a pear mood! I just made poached pears with a chocolate sauce

    http://ourchocolateshavings.blogspot.com/2010/11/poached-pears-with-chocolate-ganache_19.html

    I love the idea of wrapping them in puff pastry!

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  43. I featured you today on my blog I would love if you stopped by to check it out! Todaystoptwenty.blogspot.com

    Amanda

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  44. GORGEOUS!!

    These look so beautiful and yummy!!

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  45. Oh my stars!!! Those are STUNNING! Just stunning!

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  46. Wow, these look absolutely beautiful! I'm super impressed :) Perfect to impress all your holiday guests! :)

    Sues

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  47. This is probably one of the most amazingly pretty desserts I've ever seen. I can't wait to try making it. :)

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  48. not only is this absolutely beautiful it looks super good. Perfect for the holiday!

    xo

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  49. Oh my goodness, what a pretty way to dress up poached fruit. I bookmarked this as soon as I saw it.

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  50. What an absolutely lovely presentation! My mom and I just decided we're making this for Christmas. :-)

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  51. This is absolutely stunning! What a unique idea. That is one happy-looking pear.

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  52. Wow, this looks soooo yummi!!! I am making this for Christmas :) Thanks.

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  53. I love this. Very very elegant and the honey is a great touch!

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  54. That is so creative. I love it.

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  55. Could you make this ahead of time as dessert for a dinner party? I'm wondering if you could poach the pears, wrap in pastry and put in the freezer until time to bake. Would they bake up properly? Would the pear turn to mush if it's set out for too long (even if it's in the freezer)?

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  56. Hi CouldBeKim!

    The pears may be mealy-textured after freezing, and the puff pastry needs to be baked from a thawed state. You could poach the pears the day before and refrigerate them, then wrap them in the puff pastry the next day. The poaching is what takes the most time, but the wrapping is easy and goes very quickly.

    I hope this helps!

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  57. Oh this looks simply too beautiful! I think pears don't get used enough as desserts over here but this...oh, I do want to try this!

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  58. How the HELL do you eat it?

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  59. Thank you, Thank you. I not in doubt how to eat this at all.

    Lisa xx

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  60. To Anonymous - If you can't figure out how to eat it with a fork, then use a knife also.

    To Lisa - Thank you for such a nice comment. xo

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  61. This would be delightful with forelle pears as well, I think! They would make the perfect bite sized desserts for a cocktail party.

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  62. Ohhh this sounds delicious! I'm going to try this, but I will include a little wine in the poaching broth....

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  63. They look like small honeybee hives but waaay more delicious.

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  64. Hi there! These look amazing, and I want to try them for Christmas Day Dinner! One thing - did you use a particular type of pear? Sorry if this is already stated and I missed it. I like pears but don't know about which types are best for cooking/poaching/etc. We have a pretty limited selection in our grocery store, hope I can find what I need! Thanks for your beautiful post.

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  65. probably one of the most gorgeous eatables i've seen in a while!

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  66. Beautiful blog! Your pear dessert would make Grumpy very happy! He loves pears!

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  67. I am hardly a pro in the kitchen, but I decided this sounded too delicious and I had to try it. I couldn't manage to core them without cutting the tops off, so already the presentation suffered. And, I used pears that were too ripe, so two of them fell apart during the poaching. Still, two of them survived, I wrapped them with the pastry, and cooked them up while reducing the syrup. Out of the oven, my wife and I dug in -- yum! Almost TOO sweet, but is there any such thing really? I'm going to make these for some dinner party, maybe try different, more savory spices. Thanks! --Brian (bsned2@gmail.com) P.S. I found this recipe by stumbleupon!

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  68. I just stumbled upon this and it looks absolutely beautiful! Now I'm wishing I hadn't just turned my last few pears into pear butter.

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  69. They almost look too good to eat! Almost...

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  70. Mmmm poached peaches are my favourite!

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  71. These are so gorgeous, I can't wait to try making them! How do you eat them?

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  72. I love any sort of dessert that involves pears. How beautiful are these!

    Wow!

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  73. Amazing.
    Sooo good even though it's my first time poaching anything =) It was perfect, I served it with very creamy vanilla ice cream to compensate the sweetness of the poaching liquid. I used the rest of the liquid for pear-flavoured syrup, to eat with waffles tomorrow.

    Thank you for the inspiration!

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  74. Looks Divine! I pinned it to Pinterest!

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  75. I found you on Pintrest. I made them for dinner tonight and the plates licked clean. I also mentioned you on my blog. Check it out if you've got time! http://barefootapron.blogspot.com/

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  76. These were amazing! And they left the kitchen smelling wonderful!

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  77. All I can say is WOW! that is amazing. I think I am going to put this on mu Christmas menu! Thanks for sharing :) Pinning it!
    Come see me at http://www.willcookforsmiles.com/

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  78. It looks delicious! I think I'll try the recipe...thanks for sharing!

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  79. Wow, what a lovely presentation!!! it's not only look good but delicious as well. Perfect plating!

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  80. I've made these twice now... and savor every single bite! What a great dessert option instead of cookies, cake, and the rest of the heavy hitters... not that those all don't have a warm fuzzy place in my heart. ;o)

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  81. YUM, these look so good, and classy. I cant wait to try out this recipe.

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  82. I just finished making them, they are quite delicious and easy to do even for someone with as little skill in dessert making as I have.

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  83. Wondering how you core them???

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  84. Wow, this looks fantastic! What a delicious treat!

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  85. I want to make these for our new year's party, but I'm worried about timing. Do you have to serve these right away, or can they be made ahead of time (3-4 hours or so) without getting soggy before serving time?

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  86. Hi Tanya!

    3-4 hours ahead should be fine. I wouldn't suggest refrigerating them during this time, though. Maybe keep them covered loosely with aluminum foil on the pan. You can always re-heat them and crisp them in the oven for 5 minutes - just keep a watchful eye.

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  87. These look SO delicious and super adorable!!!!

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