Originally posted here:
Four firm pears.
Four cups water.
Two cups sugar.
Two TBS lemon juice.
Heat water, sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan till the sugar dissolves.
Meanwhile peel the pears and quarter them – do not remove the cores yet.
Immerse the pear segments in the liquid, and simmer on very low for about fifteen minutes, making sure that the pears are covered by liquid at all times.
You may add an additional squeeze of lemon juice to prevent discolouration.
Turn off the heat, let the pan and its contents cool.
Remove pears from liquid, and with a coffee spoon remove the cores. It’s much easier now that they are cooked.
Bring the liquid back to a boil, and thicken it slightly. Place the pears in a deep dish and cover them with the syrup. When cool enough, you can flatten a sheet of plastic wrap over them and place them in the refrigerator.
Keeps for several days.
You will note that this recipe is exceedingly simple. It can be modified, and you may want to ‘personalize’ it by doing so.
What I do is add a splash of strong coffee in the cooking liquid, which gives it depth and character. I also use more sugar than I have specified above, because I like syrup. For a very bright flavour you can add a thick curl of orange zest, as well as two or three green cardamom pods. If you throw in a handful of raisins when reboiling the syrup they will plump up nicely.
To serve, heat up two segments per person or more in some of the syrup.
Slide into a dessert bowl and top with a big luscious scoop of vanilla ice cream.