Pears with Vanilla and Black PepperClick to Play

Pears with Vanilla Sugar Syrup and Black Peppercorns

Pere al Vaniglia e Pepe

Mary Ann Esposito

I had this delicious poached pear dessert sitting at a table in the venerable Grand Hotel Timeo restaurant in Taormina, Sicily, looking out onto the bay of Naxos below with snow covered Mount Etna sleeping in the distance. The sky was steel blue and the sun was playing off the window beautifully, so much so that it enveloped me in a mesmerizing trance. Such a view and feeling could only be enhanced by this dish.

Serves four


4 ripe Anjou pears, stemmed, cut in half, cored and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
Juice of two lemons
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1 medium vanilla bean
2 teaspoons black peppercorns


Cover the pear slices with lemon juice and allow to stand covered for 10 minutes.

Combine the water and sugar in a medium-size saucepan. Bring to boil, lower the heat to simmer.

Slit the vanilla bean lengthwise with a small knife. Scrape out the seeds with the knife tip and add to the water and sugar mixture.

Scoop the pear slices from the lemon juice and add them to the water and sugar mixture along with the peppercorns. Simmer for 10 minutes. Cool in the pan then transfer to a bowl. Serve at room temperature.

This recipe is featured on show 1911 - All Fruit.

item recipe is featured in Episode 1911 of Season 19.

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