Pears are just such a delicious encapsulation of the fall season.
And when you combine pears with spiced apple cider… Mercy, but that is a scrumptious way to celebrate autumn.
This recipe is super-easy and laden with rich spices that will make you think of hayrides and homecoming and crisp leaves crunching beneath your feet.
The ingredients are pretty basic. You can use either cider mulling spices that come pre-packaged or blend your own.
Combine apple cider, vanilla extract, and spices in your Instant Pot. Simmer while you prepare the pears. (If you don’t have an Instant Pot, don’t worry. I include stovetop directions below.)
Peel the pears.
Then use a melon baller to take out the core from the bottom. Make sure you leave the stem attached at the top.
Give the pears a quick bath in lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.
And you are now ready to cook them.
Drop them in the Instant Pot and steam. While they cook your house will become filled with tantalizing fragrances that cause your mouth to water and euphoria to settle over you.
Carefully remove from the pot, then pour juice from the pot over the pears.
If you like, you can add a drizzle of caramel sauce, whipping cream, or ice cream.
4 pears, firm
6 cups apple cider (do not use apple juice)
1 packet of mulling spices (or whole spices)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Wash and peel pears. Make sure they are firm, otherwise they’ll turn to mush.
Use a melon baller to scoop out seeds and core from bottom. If necessary, trim the bottom of the pear so it will stand up straight.
Add cider, vanilla extract and spices to Instant Pot. Set on the sauté setting and stir as the liquid begins to simmer. If you don’t have mulling spices, use a cheesecloth bag and insert whole cinnamon sticks, cloves, and anise to flavor the liquid.
Once the liquid is simmering nicely, add pears and switch to manual setting. Cover and lock on the lid then set for eight minutes of steaming. When finished, let the steam release slowly. Remove the lid and carefully remove the pears. Dip a cup of liquid from the pot and pour over the pears. If you want the liquid to be a little thicker, you can remove the pears, lock the lid back on and set the to steam for an additional ten minutes.
Plate the pears and serve as is or with additional toppings like caramel, toffee bits, ice cream, whipped cream, and candied nuts.
Leftovers may be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.
NOTE – If you do not have an Instant Pot, you can easily poach the pears on your stove top. In a saucepan large enough to hold the pears, combine the cider, spices, and vanilla. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Add the pears sand simmer for 15-20 minutes, turning the pears occasionally until they are tender. Remove pears and allow to cool. You can continue cooking the liquid for 20-30 minutes to reduce it if desired.