How to make slow cooker poached pears (video)

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I have never canned anything in my life, but I hate food waste, so I use other preservation methods to give things a longer, though by no means indefinite, shelf life. Poaching fruit is one such technique. It’s great for preserving, adds subtle sweetness and can transform almost any fruit into a dessert. The result is elegant sweetened fruit that makes a lovely dessert or breakfast.
My favorite fruit to poach is pears. They absorb the liquid without losing their shape, and they become fork-tender without falling apart. You can poach fruit in almost any liquid (wine, tea, fruit juice), but a simple mixture of water, sugar, lemon and spices is my favorite, adding sweetness and warmth to the pears without overpowering them. Serve these plain or with a scoop of ice cream for dessert. You can also pair them with Greek yogurt and granola for breakfast.
Cooktop Cove
Slow Cooker Poached Pears
5 minutes
2 hours
2 hours, 5 minutes
4 Bosc pears, peeled and halved, seeds removed
4 cups water
1 cup granulated sugar
½ lemon, juiced
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon whole allspice (optional)
Lay pear halves in the bottom of a slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients.
Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, gently flipping pears over after an hour.
Serve immediately, or store in a small amount of the poaching liquid for up to a week.
Pro tip: After poaching, you can turn the poaching liquid into a sauce. Pour into a saucepan, bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid reduces by half and is thick and syrupy. Serve over pears.
Note: All slow cookers are a little bit different in temperature and calibration. This recipe was tested in Cooktop Cove's Test Kitchen using this slow cooker, which is available for purchase here.
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