Easy. Simple. Delicious. These lightly sweetened Stewed Pears can top SO many things! Like my Easy Stewed Apples, top these cooked pears on pancakes, Creamy Oatmeal, waffles, vanilla ice cream and much more. This stewed pear recipe is vegetarian, vegan and gluten free.
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Why You’ll Enjoy these Easy Cooked Pears
A taste of the season, fresh stewed pears come together quick and can be whipped up while you’re flipping pancakes or waiting on the waffles to bake. Stewing pears on the stove softens and prepares them for enjoying with a fork and as a condiment or component of other tasty food. Here’s why you’ll love this recipe:
- Simple to Make – this recipe comes together in about 15 minutes.
- Versatile – stewed pears can be enjoyed as a topping on so many things. They’re make ahead ready and freezer friendly.
- Customizable – with various stir in options to choose from, you can customize the flavor profile of this cooked pear recipe.
Ingredients You’ll Need
With just a few pantry staples and fresh ripe pears, you’ll have pears stewed in no time. Here’s what you’ll need for this cooked pear recipe (see recipe card for details):
- Pears – choose firm, ripe fruit for this stewed pears recipe.
- Maple Syrup + Brown Sugar – just a touch to add depth of flavor and sweetness. You can use all maple syrup if desired.
- Ground Cinnamon – or a cinnamon stick.
- Ground Ginger – adds interest with a mild peppery flavor.
- Star Anise – this is optional, but if you’re a fan of anise, I highly recommend it.
- Vanilla Extract – or you can include a scraped vanilla bean or vanilla paste.
- Lemon Juice – to brighten and balance the flavors.
- Corn Starch – just a touch at the end of stewing mixed with a bit of water to create a rich, creamy base.
Quick Guide: How to Stew Pears
In season pears and simple ingredients create the tastiest and most comforting cooked pears recipe. Here’s how to make this delicious recipe (see recipe card for details):
- First, peel, core, remove the internal stem and dice the pears. If preferred, you can leave the skin on.
- Second, add the pears, maple and brown sugar, spices and lemon juice to a sauce pan. Stir.
- Third, heat until just bubbling, then cook pears gently for about 8-10 minutes.
- Next, stir in the cornstarch and water slurry and simmer for 30 seconds.
- Last, remove from heat, stir and set aside for about five minutes before sharing.
The pears will thicken a bit as they cool creating a rich, creamy consistency.
What are the Best Pears for Cooking?
For this recipe, I like Bosc, and green or red D’Anjou pears because they stand up to heat and hold their shape. Be sure to choose firm, ripe pears. Avoid Bartlett pears for cooking and enjoy them raw. They tend to turn to mush when heated.
What to Add to Stewed Pears
This comes down to preference. For spices, omit the ginger and try cardamom or cloves. I’d start with about 1/8 teaspoon. Once the pears are stewed, you have lots of tasty options: stir in two pats of butter, sprinkle in toasted and chopped hazelnuts, walnuts or pecans, or 1/2 cup of dried cranberries.
Do You Peel Pears for Cooking?
For this recipe, I recommend peeling the pears before cooking. However, if you enjoy the texture of pear skin, you can leave the skin on.
Can Stewed Pears be Frozen?
This recipe for stewed pears freezes beautifully! I like to store cooled pears in Mason jars then freeze them for about three weeks.
What to do with Stewed Pears?
Dollop warm stewed pears on all the breakfast things! Here are a few ideas:
- Banana Pecan Oat Waffles
- Sourdough Oatmeal Pancakes
- Creamy Oatmeal
- Pumpkin Porridge
- Sourdough Vegan Pancakes
- Gluten Free Sourdough Waffles
- Gluten Free Sourdough Pancakes
Also, try swirling chilled stewed pears into yogurt or spoon warm onto vanilla ice cream!
A Few Recipe Tips
- Make Ahead: These stewed pears will keep in the fridge for up to four days, or you can freeze them for up to about three weeks. Thaw in the fridge overnight and gently reheat in the microwave or stovetop with a splash of water to loosen the pears.
- How to Choose Pears: Make sure to use firm ripe, pears. If the pears of over ripe, or too soft, this recipe for stewed pears will turn mushy. To test for ripeness, use your finger to apply gentle pressure to the neck of the pear. If it yields to gentle pressure, it’s ripe.
Easy Stewed Pears Recipe
- 5 cups (670 grams) Diced Pears peeled*, seeded and diced to about 1/4"- 1/2" (.6cm – 1.2cm). You'll need about 4 pears *See note
- 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice about half a lemon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract vanilla paste, or one vanilla bean scraped
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar or more maple syrup
- 3/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon Fine Sea Salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Corn Starch
- 2 Tablespoons Water
Optional Stir Ins:
- 2 Tablespoons Butter unsalted
- 1/2 cups (60 grams) Chopped Toasted Nuts such as pecan, hazelnuts or walnuts
- 1/2 cups (55 grams) Dried Cranberries rough chopped
- In a medium sauce pan, add diced pears, lemon juice, vanilla extract, maple syrup, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Stir.
- Bring the ingredients to a low bubble, stir, lid and turn the heat down to low. Cook for 8-10 minutes, checking at five minutes for texture and stirring occassionally. The pears should be fork tender, and soft but not mushy when they're done (although if they get mushy, they're still delicious! – this is the versatility of this recipe – cook em' how you like em'!). Cook for a few more minutes, lid on, if needed.
- Meanwhile, whisk the water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Once the apples are done, remove the lid and pour in the slurry. Stir. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, stirring a few times until glossy. The pears will thicken further as they cool. If you prefer a little looser set, add a splash or two of water and stir. Now is a good time to taste for cinnamon and ginger adjustment. If more spice is preferred, sprinkle in another 1/4 teaspoon of each. More sweet? Add a drizzle more of maple.
- To Store: Store the pears in a lidded container in the fridge for up to three days. Freeze for about three weeks for longer storage. Thaw in the fridge and gently rewarm on stove top adding a splash of water, to loosen as needed.