Optional: After poaching the pears, while the liquid is still warm, add approximately 1/2 cup (120 g) dried sour cherries, cranberries, raisins, or dried currants and let them plump.
Serve the pears warm or at room temperature. Accompany with perhaps a scoop of Vanilla ice cream and some dark chocolate sauce, a spoonful of crème fraîche, Milk chocolate & black pepper ice cream, fresh raspberries, or alongside a wedge of spice cake or gingerbread.
Store the pears in their liquid in the refrigerator, in a covered container, until ready to use. Remove the pears from the refrigerator a few hours prior to serving, and re-warm them gently in the liquid, if you wish. The pears will keep for up to 5 days.
In place of the water, you can add 2 cups (500 ml) water and 2 cups (500 ml) white wine (sweet or dry) or sparkling cider, or 3 cups (750 ml) red wine and 1 cup (250 ml) water In place of the sugar, you can use 1 cup (320 g) honey or 1 1/4 cups (275 g) dark, unrefined sugar, such as turbinado or cassonade.