Lingonberry poached pears ‘tyttebærpære’ are a delightful treat to serve during the autumn and winter months. They look beautiful, come together in no time at all, and you can serve them in many different ways. Using lingonberries for the poaching liquid gives the pears a bright, pinkish-red color that makes them stand out in an elegant way.
You’ll need firm, ripe pears to hold their shape during the poaching. Any variety wiil do. Later in the year, when winter has arrived, I use frozen lingonberries from an earlier foraging session in the autumn in lieu of fresh berries. Cranberries are a perfect substitute, so feel free to use these in place. The cinnamon stick adds a lovely warmth throughout, and you could add in even more spices to suit the occasion.
These poached pears are delicious on their own or with a good dollop of whipped cream or ice cream. By reducing the poaching liquid, you get a beautiful syrup to drizzle on top. They also serve as a wonderful addition to desserts, such as pavlova, and alongside cheese platters and candied nuts.
Lingonberry Poached Pears (tyttebærpære)
Serves 4 to 6
- 4 ¼ cups (1 litre) cold water
- 1 1/3 cups (265 g) granulated sugar
- 2 cups (250 g) fresh or frozen lingonberries (if substituting with cranberries, chop them up first)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 to 6 firm large pears, peeled with stalks intact
In a medium saucepan, with enough room for the pears to fit, bring the water, sugar, lingonberries, and cinnamon stick to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook until the sugar has dissolved. Press the lingonberries with the back of a spoon to release their juices. Lower the heat and bring the liquid to a gentle simmer. Add the pears, submerging them completely in the liquid, and simmer for 10 minutes, turning them as needed. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and let the pears cool in the pan with the liquid at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. If they are floating above the liquid, place a spoon, for example, on top to keep them submerged. Remove the pears and set aside.
To make a syrup from the poaching liquid, place the saucepan back on the stove and bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for some time until the liquid is reduced by over half and thickened to a syrup consistency. Strain the liquid to remove the berries and cinnamon stick. Set aside to cool.
Serve the pears at room temperature, or chilled, with the syrup. Whipped cream and ice cream would be lovely pairings as well.