Those of us with fruit shares have been getting a lot of pears lately. They’re great plain just for snacking, but that does get a bit old after a while, and unlike apples and peaches you can’t just toss them into a pie (or can you? maybe I’m wrong). In any case, I found this recipe for poached pears in the NY Times which sounds simple and tasty.
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 star anise
5 slices ginger
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
Combine sugar and spices with 5 cups water in a medium saucepan (large enough to accommodate the pears upright), and turn heat to high. Peel pears, leaving stems on, then core them. 2. Lower pears into the water, and adjust heat to gentle simmer. Cook pears, turning them every 5 minutes or so, until they meet little resistance when prodded with a thin-bladed knife, usually 10 to 20 minutes. Turn off heat, and cool pears in liquid. 3. Place pears on serving plates. (At this point they can also be covered and refrigerated up to a day; they should be brought to room temperature before serving.) Reduce the poaching liquid to about a cup (it can also be stored for a day), then spoon a little over each pear before serving.