Pear Melba ~ Poached Pears with Raspberry Coulis

I am crazy for poached pears! I love the texture, taste and the way they marry so beautifully with other flavors. Serve them with chocolate syrup, a red wine sauce, or even a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar (I know it sounds weird, but it is an amazing combo if you use really great vinegar).

Here they are dished up with a raspberry sauce and vanilla ice-cream. Skip the ice cream and you will have a delicious no-fat treat. You can dress this dessert up or down, serving to the family or to a crowd at a dinner party.

Pear Melba

1 3/4 cups water
4 small pears, peeled and cored and halved
1 lemon
1 cup sugar
2 cups raspberries (I use frozen except for a few fresh to garnish)
Vanilla Ice cream
Mint leaves for garnish

Additional flavoring options- you can add other flavors to the poaching liquid to give the pears a subtle taste of vanilla, cinnamon, wine. For vanilla, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the poaching liquid. For cinnamon, toss a cinnamon stick in the poaching syrup and for the wine, follow the directions here.

Squeeze the lemon juice from half of the lemon into a shallow bowl or plate. Use this juice to rub on the freshly peeled and cut pears so they don’t discolor.

In a saucepan over medium heat bring the water and sugar to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add the juice from the other half of the lemon. Place pears in the liquid and simmer for 10-15 minutes, depending on the ripeness of the fruit, until the pears are tender but still firm. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Remove 3/4 of a cup of the poaching liquid and place it in a small saucepan with the raspberries. Cook just until the raspberries become soft and begin to disperse in the liquid. Mash the mixture with a potato masher or puree in a food processor and then strain through a sieve.

Throw out the pulp and return the raspberry coulis to the saucepan and simmer for 5-10 minutes to reduce it a bit. Place the sauce in a container and chill until cold.

To serve, pour some of the raspberry coulis on a plate or in a shallow bowl, place the pears on top of the sauce, add a scoop or two of ice cream and garnish with fresh berries and mint sprigs.

This is a great recipe to make for a dinner party as you can poach the pears and make the sauce a day ahead of time and then pull it all together just before serving.

If you do plan on making it ahead of time, I suggest using a pinch of something like Fruit Fresh to insure that the pears don’t brown. Keep the pears in the liquid, in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.



  1. Cindy Ruiz

    How much water for the poaching liquid? I couldn’t find that. Thanks! It looks delicious, especially if you make it several times using different variations. Thank!

    • Epicurean Eva

      Oops! 1 3/4 cups of water for the poaching liquid. Thank you for letting me know that got deleted somehow. I hope you enjoy the recipe.


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