- 1 lb pears
- 5 cups water
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- A few strips of lemon zest (use a veggie peeler)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, split
2. Peel the pears, leaving the stem intact. Slice off the bottom 1/8 inch of each pear to create a flat, stable base.
3. Reduce heat to keep poaching liquid at a bare simmer and add the pears, laying them on their sides so they are almost completely submerged [our smaller pears will probably be submerged standing up]. Cook, turning pears occasionally so they become saturated on all sides, until they are just tender when pierced with a fork, about 7 minutes.
4. Allow pears to cool completely in their poaching liquid. Serve immediately, placed upright on the plate, or transfer pears and liquid to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.