Stoofpeertjes, or stewed pears,  are one of those dishes that show up on the table when game such as rabbit, hare or pheasant is being served, or the richer meat dishes such as hazenpeper. Stoofpeertjes can also be served with "draadjesvlees", braised beef, in combination with boiled potatoes, and will take the place of a vegetable.

The first time I ate stewed pears was at a friend's house, I must have been six or seven years old. They served ratatouille and as dessert, stoofpeertjes. Ratatouille sounds much like "rat-something" and the chunks of eggplant were HUGE, something I was not necessarily fond of when I was younger, but I was raised right so ate without complaining. I felt so rewarded for my good behavior when we had stoofpeertjes for dessert....Once I bit into one of these soft, tender, sweet pears, all eggplant misery was forgotten and I was in food-heaven.

Stoofpeertjes can be served as a side-dish to a beef or pork entrée, or as dessert with some yogurt or hangop. It is easy to make and, if you have any leftover cranberry sauce or red currant jelly and a bottle of red wine from Thanksgiving, I'd be sure to give it a try. These pears will be a beautiful addition to your Christmas dinner table.

In the Netherlands we have pears that are specifically for cooking as they improve from stewing and turn red, like the Gieser Wildeman. As they are not available in the US, pick Bosc or Anjou pears as they hold their shape fairly well. Bartletts are okay too as long as they are slightly unripe - they will fall to pieces otherwise. Remember to use two spoons to turn the pears over in their liquid, if you have to, and handle them carefully so as not to cause any nicks or cuts. 

It's traditional to use red wine or juice for these pears, but don't let that stop you. Sweet white wine also works well, especially if you expand the flavors with star anise and/or ginger. 

4 pears
3 cups (750 ml) sweet wine or juice 
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 strip lemon peel, no pith
1/3 cup (65 grams) sugar

1 teaspoon corn starch

Peel the pears but leave the stem on. Warm the wine or juice in a sauce pan. Stir in the sugar, add the cinnamon stick and place the pears in the warm liquid. Bring to a boil, then turn to a slow simmer and cover.

Simmer for about forty minutes, turning the pears over occasionally, but don't simmer them past their point as you want the fruit to remain whole. Remove the pears carefully as the fruit will be soft. If you used berry jam, strain and discard the seeds out of the liquid, then reduce it or thicken with some cornstarch (mix corn starch with a little bit of cold water to make a slurry, and stir into hot juice, bring up to boil for a minute while stirring). Pour the sauce over the pears. This dish can be served warm or cold.

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  1. heel lekker met zitroen sgil egt een aan radar voor al lekker bei het eis

  2. My mom always used Manischewitz wine (or other cheap berry wine) for this. But she'd make a whole big pot of them and put them in the freezer. I do not recommend freezing them, they always ended up a bit mushy. But mushy was my mom's kitchen theme I think...

    Serve with homemade custard, ooooh boy!

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  4. I say use port and blueberrysyrup instead of sugar and wine, add a clove and some cardamon to further deepen the taste of this traditional dish, it needs spice and booze, dont worry about the alchohol, it will cook of and serve with custard and or (ice)cream


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