Poached Pears
Photography by Matt Taylor-Gross

With a little fernet, vanilla, and crystalized ginger, pears are the centerpiece of this simple Passover dessert. This recipe comes from Eli and Max Sussman’s Classic Recipes for Modern People (Olive Press, 2015).

Yield: serves 4


  • 2 cups fernet
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 2 ripe pears, preferably Bosc or Comice, peeled
  • 1 oz. crystallized ginger, minced


  1. Combine fernet, cinnamon, star anise, vanilla bean, and 1 cup water in a 2-qt. saucepan over high; boil. Reduce heat and add pears; simmer, 15 minutes, or until tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pears to bowls. Reduce poaching liquid until thick, 20 minutes. Discard spices and drizzle over pears; top with ginger.