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 Farmwebsite. 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 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!
These are so beautiful! And I love that your tree is up already. Ours is going up this weekend!
Beautiful! Never thought to wrap poached pears in pastry, I'll have to try that!
You are amazing–it's insane! Beee-u-tee-full!
This is one of the most beautiful fruit dishes I've ever seen, I love it!
Oh my friend…now that is a Pear fit for a KING!!!! Your images always inspire..stunning. xoxoxo
That's a brilliant idea! You're always so inspiring. & gorgeous pictures as usual!
These look like little works of art!!!
BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!! I mean really, it such a perfect looking dessert!
wow!! Look so beautiful! I am sure that taste is very good too^^
these pears are gorgeous. i make poached pears quite frequently, but haven't thought to wrap them like a beautiful gift as you have.
wow, i'm not even a fan of pears, but those look really cool
Oh my, they're stunning! Love the little Russian doll ornament too.
Have a great weekend.
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.
This looks incredible!! Already planning to make it soon! 🙂
YUM!!! What a gorgeous idea to wrap them in puff pastry!! xox
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!
Your pears are so lovely. I'll have to bookmark this one — it looks delicious and easy!
What a gorgeous presentation! I bet the pears taste simply delicious :).
These are absolutely gorgeous – and so simple as well! Amazing. 🙂
They look soooo good!
Just the looks of these are sooo fancy–I bet they taste amazing too 🙂
gorgeous…! Love the new look too!
This looks delicious and those ornaments are adorable! Do you happen to know where they came from? They're totally my ornament style!
What a great idea! The pears look so neat like this. I love poached pears, I will have to give this a try!
oh my word, these are gorgeous and i can't imagine how amazing they taste!
Such a beautiful and classy dessert, love it! I also love your cute owl :-).
wow, it looks so yummy!!! nice presentation too
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:
amazing looking! seriously drooling over here!
They look like little beehives! I would so make a little bumblebee somehow to put beeside it! But I'm dorky like that.
These are simply gorgeous! I can't wait to make them for my family and see their jaws drop 🙂
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
Wow. These are beautiful! And I'm sure yummy, too.
amazing, i can't wait to try them!
Hah! I love their little scarves. Nice presentation.
And I'm liking your tree decorations. 🙂
I keep thinking your not gonna top your last post and yet time and time again you do it.
Heather, you are the Master (Mistress?) of gorgeous desserts. Love this! Thanks for sharing with us.
Gloria P.S. Love your/your hubby tree decorations!
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
Wow, these are gorgeous. Amazing pictures!
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)
This is simply amazing…what a gorgeous idea for a holiday table.
These look spectacular! I can't wait to get my Christmas tree, then it really feels like the holidays.
These pears look beautiful and delicious.
Great idea and photos.
It seems that we were both in a pear mood! I just made poached pears with a chocolate sauce
I love the idea of wrapping them in puff pastry!
I featured you today on my blog I would love if you stopped by to check it out! Todaystoptwenty.blogspot.com
These look so beautiful and yummy!!
Oh my stars!!! Those are STUNNING! Just stunning!
Wow, these look absolutely beautiful! I'm super impressed 🙂 Perfect to impress all your holiday guests! 🙂
This is probably one of the most amazingly pretty desserts I've ever seen. I can't wait to try making it. 🙂