Poached Pears with Chocolate Ganache (gluten free, dairy free, soy free, vegan)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A lighter take on holiday dessert that is easy to make and can be made in advance - perfect for entertaining one or a crowd! Recipe can easily be halved or doubled.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: serves 6-8
  • Poached Pears:
  • 8 cups water
  • 2½ cups cane sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut in half and sliced open
  • 1 pinch whole cardamon
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 6-8 bosc pears, firm to the touch
  • Chocolate Ganache:
  • 1 cup coconut milk (or almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 6 ounces semisweet dark chocolate (used Guittard), coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate (used Guittard), coarsely chopped
  • dairy free whipped topping (used So Delicious Cocowhip)
  • Cacao nib pieces for garnish
  1. NOTE: Prep Time includes cool and chilling time.
  2. For the poached pears:
  3. Set a large stockpot (at least 5-quart size) over medium-high heat, add water, sugar, and all the spices.
  4. Meanwhile, peel pears leaving the stem intact, and cut off ¼ inch from the bottom so the pear can stand upright later. When the water begins to boil add the pears. Let it cook for 30-40 minutes, until soft, yet still, hold shape. A gentle touch will confirm if they are ready and the liquid will reduce by about 2 inches.
  5. Turn off heat and let cool for 20-30 minutes, or until room temperature. The syrup will thicken somewhat when cooled.
  6. Note: The spiced simple syrup is worth keeping — perfect for cocktails (spiced mojito, anyone?), on pancakes, waffles, and fresh fruit. It will stay fresh refrigerated for up to a month. I managed to get ⅔ of a quart of reserved liquid.
  7. For the ganache:
  8. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, add coconut milk and coconut oil (there is no strong coconut flavor that comes through, do not worry!). Heat to a simmer, until small bubbles are just beginning to come up around the edges. Do not let it boil. Turn off heat, then add all chopped chocolate and stir until melted. Let it cool 30 minutes before using.
  9. Can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days, stir well and heat to warm (optional) before serving.
  10. Assembly:
  11. Using a large serving spoon, gently (they dent easily) lift a poached pear sideways (do not be tempted to lift it by the stem, it will come off) then using your hand as a guide, transfer the poached pear into a deep glass by holding it from the bottom, and slide into a serving glass. Pour ganache as desired. Chill for 30-60 minutes then add whipped topping and cacao nibs before serving.
  12. To make-ahead: Both, poached pears and ganache can be made up to 3 days in advance. Then assembled and chilled up to an hour before serving.
  13. Serving suggestion: Serve “buffet style” with ganache, whipped topping, cacao nibs (and anything else really) on the side for your guests to help themselves. If non-dairy whipped topping and cacao nibs are not available, try fresh berries, sprinkles, and/or toasted coconut flakes.
Recipe by From Jessica's Kitchen at http://fromjessicaskitchen.com/poached-pears-with-chocolate-ganache/