Poaching ‘Nilla Pears

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - September 30, 2009
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Lucie Talbot-Holu has lived in Sunset Beach for 28 years and has owned Silver Moon Emporium in Haleiwa for the past 20 years.

Lucie says that the eclectic mix of designers such as Betsey Johnson, Brighton Jewelry, a variety of lingerie,and clothing, as well as lotions and local jewelry appeals to all age groups, and has made the store successful.

Both Lucie and her husband Wayne Holu like to try different restaurants, take romantic drives along the beach and go to movies. Wayne, a physical security specialist for the Navy, loves to cook and try new recipes.

This column is dedicated to them.


Pears are a good source of fiber, and this dessert is nice served with low-fat frozen vanilla yogurt and a drizzle of pureed raspberries. A dollop of light whipped cream on top gives it a finishing touch.

I like to use Bosc pears, but there are a couple of other varieties to choose from:

Anjou - originated in France and is a medium size with a short neck. The flesh is very juicy and it has a fine texture.

Bartlett - known in Europe as the Williams pear, this English variety was introduced into the U.S. by Enoch Bartlett of Massachusetts. The skin is golden when ripe and the flesh is aromatic and good for baking.

Bosc - originally from Belgium, the skin of this pear is thicker and coarser than the above varieties, and is brown with some yellow. It has a long, thin neck,and a juicy white flesh that is slightly granular in texture. It is a good pear for eating and poaching.


* 1/2 cup apple juice

* 1 cup orange juice

* 1/4 cup brown sugar

* 1/4 cup granulated sugar

* 4 whole cloves

* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

* 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

* 4 peeled fresh pears (leave stems on pears)


In saucepan combine juices, sugars, cloves and cinnamon, and bring to a boil stirring to insure sugar is melted. Add cloves and pears, stem ends up, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until pears are tender but firm.

Remove pears carefully from liquid. Spoon liquid in bowl around pears, and add pureed fruit on top, or garnish with fresh berries if desired. Makes four servings.

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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