Fall is pear season, and poached pears make a wonderful dessert. They can be virtuous or decadent, depending on the recipe and what you serve it with.

“Simply add cognac, and a star anise to simple syrup—poach away,” recommends epabella, who notes that “adding a bit of unsalted butter at the very end is also good.” Chefpaulo poaches pears in ginger ale, stuffs them with a mixture of gorgonzola, heavy cream, powdered sugar, and chopped walnuts, then chills. To serve, bring to room temperature and drizzle with sherry.

Pears poached with red wine are popular. normalheightsfoodie poaches peeled, cored pears in sweet red wine and cinnamon. “The whole pear should turn red,” he says. “You can fill the middle with mascarpone.” jeniyo says this recipe for scarlet poached pears “looks festive and yummy indeed!!”

phoenikia likes poached pears with ginger and port, while CHOW’s recipe for Port Poached Pears uses cinnamon and allspice.

My favorite is poached pears with chocolate-pear sauce, served with raspberry sorbet.

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