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A spiced pear is a pear that has been cooked in a mixture that consists of syrup or honey, white or brown sugar and a collection of spices and flavorings, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, mint, cloves or even wine. The pear is simmered in this mixture until it is tender enough to be pierced with a fork and the flavors have been soaked in by the flesh of the fruit. A spiced pear can be made with either fresh or canned pears, and it is popular as a dessert, a side dish or a recipe ingredient.
Although a spiced pear can be eaten on its own as a dessert, it also can be used in many other dessert recipes. Many cakes, bread puddings and fruit puddings use spiced pears as a central ingredient. A spiced pear can be used as a topping for ice cream or French toast. Spiced pears are also commonly used as sweet side dishes for various meat and casserole dishes.
The recipes for making spiced pears from canned pears are often very similar. A variety of ingredients can be used to make spiced pears, but the four basic ingredients used most often are pears, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. First, the pear syrup from the can is poured into a pot, along with the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. This mixture is brought to a boil before the heat is reduced to low and the mixture is allowed to simmer. After about five minutes, the pears are added to the mixture and are allowed to simmer for another five minutes.
When using fresh pears, the recipe is a little different. Honey or maple syrup is added to a pan along with the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. After the mixture has been brought to a boil and then allowed to simmer for five minutes, fresh pears that have been peeled and possibly cut into halves, slices or quarters are added. The pears are then allowed to simmer in the mixture for at least an hour, or until they are tender. Finally, the spiced pears are refrigerated for at least eight hours before they are served.
Spiced pears can be preserved, which can be a good solution for people who find themselves with more fresh pears than they can use. After being peeled and possibly cut, the fresh pears can be soaked in a mixture of water and lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown. After being cooked, the pears can be added to jars, along with some of the syrup mixture in which they were simmered. When properly prepared, preserved spiced pears can last for several months.