Rum and Vanilla Poached Pear Recipe from #ZolaCouple Lorin & Matt

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Matt, Executive Sous Chef at Per Se, and Lorin, a personal chef for a family, met while working at the world-renowned French Laundry in Napa Valley. For their first holiday as husband and wife, this Zola couple dishes on one of their favorite recipes for a Thanksgiving Day dessert.

Rum & Vanilla Poached Pears

Will need: medium cast iron or sauté pan with lid


  • 2 Anjou pears
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • 3 T dark rum
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (or can scrape 1 vanilla bean)

How to:

  1. Preheat a cast iron pan or medium sized sauté pan (not nonstick) over medium/high heat.
  2. In a small bowl, combine sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. Stir to mix well.
  3. Peel the pears and split lengthwise.
  4. With a small spoon, scoop out the core and seeds.
  5. Place pears facedown in sugar mixture and then facedown into hot pan.
  6. Allow the face of the pear to caramelize until golden brown (5-8 minutes).
  7. Deglaze with rum and then add water and vanilla.
  8. Place lid on pan and turn down your heat to medium-low.
  9. Allow to poach for approximately 10 minutes or until a toothpick or small knife can be inserted without resistance.
  10. Top with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or just enjoy by itself!

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