This simple preparation makes an elegant dessert. Any leftover poaching syrup can be saved and used to sweeten summer drinks and simple cakes.

Yield: serves 6


  • 6 pears, peeled
  • 1 lemon, peeled and juiced, reserve both
  • 1 bottle dry white wine
  • 1 12 cups sugar
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 14 tsp. saffron threads


  1. Place pears in lemon water to prevent discoloring.
  2. Combine wine, 1 cup water, sugar, star anise, vanilla bean, cinnamon, and lemon peel in a large saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, add pears, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove pears and cool.
  3. Raise the heat and bring poaching syrup to slow boil, crumble in saffron, and reduce liquid to 3 cups.
  4. Cool the syrup, add pears, and serve.