With just three simple ingredients and thirty minutes of time, you'll be enjoying a delicious bowl of Stewed Pears and forgetting about the stresses of the world. This easy dessert is pure comfort food especially when you pair the pan-fried pears with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of honey.
We love to eat fruit. Fresh fruit is always a hit but remember that there are a lot of ways that you can cook fruit, too. Once you cook the fruit, it just opens up so many other flavors and tastes that are sure to be a hit.
What I really like about these pan-fried pears is that while they have a similar taste to poached pears, I prefer to texture cooked this way more. The pears still hold their firmness and have a bit of that crunch that I love my pears to have.
Finishing up dinner with a bowl of stewed pears with a scoop of vanilla ice cream sounds like heaven. Speaking of cooked fruits, make sure to check out this Smoked Bananas recipe as well. It's loaded with flavor and simple!
Ingredients and Equipment
Pears: Make sure that you clean the pears well and peel off the skin. This will give you that delicious pear fruity bite with every spoonful.
Butter: Butter is the second biggest star of the show, in my opinion. It's what you're using to fry up the pears and just gives it such a great flavor.
Sugar: Even though pears have a natural sweetness, adding in sugar just helps if there might be a bitterness.
Frying Pan: This is it - all you need. You can use a nonstick or a cast-iron pan, whatever works best.
How To Cook Stewed Pears
Step One: Slice up the pears and add them to a frying pan.
Step Two: Stir together the pears, sugar, and butter. Heat uncovered over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the butter melts.
Step Three: Cook covered over medium-low heat until the pears are softened. There will be a bit of natural juice from the pears in the skillet. If you want juicier stewed pears you can add some water, apple juice, or wine while they cook.
I decided that I wanted my stewed pears to taste like pears. I really do love the natural flavor of pears on their own. But there are many options if you want to change up the flavor.
Spices - You can also add a hint of cinnamon to the cooked pears, too.
Sweetener - Adding in sugar is great, but you can also make this with honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, and more.
Lemon - A squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a piece of lemon peel in the pan while the pears cook down compliments the sweetness of the pears.
Spices - To add a hint of warmth, you can toss star anise, a few pieces of cardamon, or a few cloves in the pan and cook to let some of those flavors soak into the sliced pears. Fresh ginger is also a nice addition.
Vanilla Beans - For an extra special treat half a vanilla bean and let it simmer along with the pears. A more frugal option would be to stir in a teaspoon of vanilla extract during the final few minutes of cook time.
Cinnamon Stick - Putting a cinnamon stick in the skillet can add a pop of flavor, too.
Red Wine - Some will add a splash of wine to the skillet while it's cooking, making this more of a poaching liquid. I think it's good for flavor but just be careful because you're wanting to try to get these pears to a golden brown coloring. If you add liquid, that's changing them into more of a poached pear potentially at that point in time.
How To Serve Pan-Fried Pears
There are so many ways that you can enjoy these pears once they're cooked and ready to eat!
One of our top ways is to add some vanilla ice cream on top and let it get a bit melty.
You can also add toppings like:
- Whipped Cream
- Lemon Zest
- Brown Sugar & a sprinkle of Cinnamon
- Greek Yogurt & Granola
Anything that you think would pair well with the flavor of pear is going to be great. You can also use the stewed pears as a topping on cheesecake or pound cake. And if you love this recipe also try this pear compote.
What type of foods pair well with cooked pears?
Adding fruit to dishes always enhances the flavor. Think waffles, pancakes, oatmeal - basically anything breakfast-related would be great.
I also think that this would be delicious as a small side option with pork, too.
If you can use a slotted spoon and just get the pears without any extra liquid, this would be a fun topping for a mini cake or cupcake as well.
What are the best pears to use for this dessert recipe?
We prefer using Bartlett pears over Bosc pears because the Bartlett pears have a firmer texture and don't fall apart as easily when they're cooking up in the pan. If you don't mind that, you can honestly use any type of pear you want.
How do you find ripe pears?
The easiest way is to give them the squeeze test. They should have a little give to them but still be balanced with some firmness.
Can you freeze cooked pears?
I recommend eating these stewed pears fresh and warm from the skillet. If you wanted to meal prep a bit, you can put sliced pears in the freezer and then thaw them, drain any liquid, and fry them up that way.
How do you store leftover fried pears?
Keep them in a covered dish, stored in the fridge. For the best flavor, eat within 2-3 days. If the pears are too ripe, they're not going to hold together well in the skillet. They're too ripe if they're super squishy. I really like them cold as well as warm. I've been known to sneak into the fridge with a fork and eat a few right from the container.
Try some of our other desserts:
- 2 lb bartlett pears peeled and sliced
- 2 tbsp butter
- ¼ cup sugar
- Add ingredients to a large frying pan with a lid.
- Cook over medium until softened, about 25-30 minutes.