How to Cook Fresh Pears

Fresh pears

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Pears are a soft and sweet fruit, which makes them perfect for a nutritious and tasty dessert recipe. You are able to find pears in most supermarkets year round and ripe pears are your best choice for cooking. Look for firm pears that give a little when pressed on. They should smell sweet and be free of blemishes and bruises as well, note Irma von Starkloff Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, Ethan Becker and Maria Guarnaschelli in their book, "Joy of Cooking."

Poached Pears

Place the white wine, sugar, vanilla, cloves and orange zest in your saucepan and turn heat to medium low.

Peel each of your pears and cut them in half. Remove the core from the center of each pear using a sharp knife.

Add each pear half to the liquid, being careful not to splash. Bring the liquid to a boil and then turn the heat down to low.

Simmer the pear halves, turning frequently. Begin checking the pears after eight minutes by testing the skin with the tip of a sharp knife. Continue cooking until the flesh of the pears is very soft.

Remove each pear half from the poaching liquid using a slotted spoon. Carefully place them in a serving bowl. Add a small amount of the poaching liquid and stir gently to coat. Serve warm.

Baked Pears

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wash the pears but do not remove the peel. Cut each pear in half and remove the core.

Lay the halved pears, skin side down, in a baking dish that you have sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Sprinkle the pear halved with ground cloves, ground cinnamon and brown sugar.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the flesh is soft, but not mushy.

Remove from the oven and serve warm.

Grilled Pears

Preheat your outdoor grill to medium heat.

Combine melted butter, cinnamon and brown sugar in a large bowl.

Wash pears and cut them in half. Remove the inner core.

Add the pear halves to the melted butter mixture and toss to coat.

Use a pair of tongs to place each pear half on the outdoor grill.

Grill pear halves for three to four minutes per side, or until tender.

Remove pears from grill and place on a serving platter. Serve immediately.