4 (8-ounce) fresh pears, Comice or Bartletts are good
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 quarts water
2 whole cloves
1 (1-inch) piece of cinnamon stick
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 2 tablespoons water
Raspberry-Yogurt Topping, optional (see link)


1. Peel, core and quarter the pears, reserving the peels and cores separately. Submerge the pears in cool water to which you've added the lemon juice to prevent browning.
2. In a large saucepan, cover the reserved pear peels and cores with water, add cloves and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain, return the liquid to the same saucepan, add the brown sugar, bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Add the pears, return to the heat and poach until tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain, reserving both the pears and liquid.
3. Pour 2 cups of the reserved pear-poaching liquid back into the same saucepan and reduce by half. Pour the remaining liquid and the poached pears into a bowl and put in the refrigerator to cool.
4. Off the heat, stir the cornstarch slurry into the reduced pear poaching liquid, return to the heat, bring to a boil and stir until thickened, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and put in the refrigerator to cool.
5. When the both the pears and syrup are cold, remove the pears and chop into neat squares.
6. In a medium-sized bowl, toss the chopped pears with the cold syrup and spoon into 4 serving bowls. You can serve the topping in the middle of the table and dip pear slices like fondue or give each person their own dipping bowl.
This pear compote can be served with a sweet raspberry yogurt topping (see link).
Pear Compote
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