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Cinnamon Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce, with Instant Pot pressure cooker option

These vegan cinnamon poached pears with chocolate sauce make an elegant yet simple dessert showcasing the lovely bell-shaped fruit. Bittersweet chocolate sauce draping over perfectly poached citrus and cinnamon scented pears, it’s a marriage made in heaven.

Pouring chocolate sauce on Cinnamon Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce | Letty's Kitchen

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“There are only 10 minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat.”  A quote from poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. I bet Mr. Emerson would have loved this dessert.

Ten minutes might be an exaggeration, but it’s certainly true that perfectly ripe pears are key to perfectly poached pears. This means pears should definitely not be mushy, but neither should they be rock hard. Aim for just ripe, but still firm, with color just beginning to change from green to yellow.

Farmer's Market pears for Cinnamon Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce | Letty's Kitchen

The bittersweet chocolate sauce is vegan, made with coconut oil, coconut milk, and maple syrup, and takes just 10 minutes to make. Pour on top of sweet fragrant poached pears for a true wow-factor dessert–cinnamon poached pears with chocolate sauce.

How to poach pears in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot:

  • Put the water, wine, sugar, and cinnamon sticks in the Instant Pot (affiliate link). Bring to a simmer on Sauté, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Press the Keep Warm button so the liquid stays hot until the pears are peeled and cored.
  • Slip the pears into the hot syrup and lock the lid. Select High Pressure and set the timer for 3 minutes. When the beep sounds, quick release the pressure by pressing Cancel, and turn the steam handle to Venting position.
  • When the pressure button drops, remove the pears and transfer to a bowl. As soon as the syrup has cooled a bit, pour it over the pears. 

How to poach the pears without a pressure cooker:

  • Put the water, wine, sugar, and cinnamon sticks in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring a few times as the sugar dissolves. Lower the heat to a simmer.
  • Slip the pears into the hot syrup. To keep the pears submerged in the poaching liquid, cover them with a circle of parchment paper and a small plate as a weight. The pears will jostle and find their place lying down in the liquid.
  • Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the pears are barely tender, being careful not to overcook. The poaching time depends upon the ripeness of the pears; the riper the pear, the shorter the poaching time.

closeup of Cinnamon Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce | Letty's Kitchen

Cinnamon Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce recipe notes and details:

  • You can substitute Bosc or D’Anjou pears for Bartletts, just make sure they are in their heyday of ripeness, which is harder to narrow down because both Bosc and D’Anjou varieties are more firm when ripe. Look for a bit of softness at the stem end.
  • Make ahead: Refrigerated in the poaching liquid, poached pears will keep about 5 days, with the cinnamon flavor getting stronger each day. You can prepare the chocolate sauce ahead as well, and rewarm it just before serving.
  • There’s a classic French dessert of poached pears with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream–Belle-Hélène. Needless to say, vanilla ice cream is an ideal complement for cinnamon poached pears with chocolate sauce.
  • Did you know? Pears don’t ripen well on the tree—they’re picked when unripe. Let firmer pears ripen at home a day or so under your watchful eyes. Timing will depend on how firm they are when you buy them. If you need to slow down the ripening—keep them refrigerated.

More seasonal pear recipes:

This recipe first appeared on Pressure Cooking Today where I’m a contributor.

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Nutrition Facts
Cinnamon Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce with Pressure Cooker option
Amount Per Serving
Calories 813 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 23g144%
Sodium 61mg3%
Potassium 624mg18%
Carbohydrates 129g43%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 103g114%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 60IU1%
Vitamin C 17.7mg21%
Calcium 205mg21%
Iron 2.2mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • Maura Mark

    Yum, may be in my Thanksgiving line up! Thanks Letty Reply · 17 October, 2016

    • Thank you Maura! Reply · 17 October, 2016

  • I like your quote. I thought I was just a fussy pear eater because I too find the window of eating quite small. I’m glad to know that Emerson is just as fussy! These poached pears are perfect dinner party food. I like a showstopper at the end of the meal, but unless I can make it ahead as you describe here I usually break out the ice cream. These pears are far more elegant. GREG Reply · 22 October, 2016

    • Thanks Greg! I know you will love this recipe! Reply · 23 October, 2016

  • Hi Letty ! Great resource for Cinnamon Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce recipe you have shared with us . It looks so yummy and tasty ,Thanks for this resource. It would be great if you join my food community with your great ideas.. Thanks 🙂 🙂 Reply · 26 October, 2016

  • Carole

    Love the poached pears recipe! Yum! Reply · 24 March, 2019

    • Thank you Carole. I’m delighted to hear the recipe works well for you! Reply · 24 March, 2019

  • Dan

    Any suggestions on what to do with left over syrup? Reply · 15 November, 2022

    • HI Dan,
      I know what you mean–it doesn’t feel right to waste the poaching syrup. I would simmer the leftover liquid in a saucepan until it thickens into a light syrup, about as thick as maple syrup. Then refrigerate. Make a refreshing spritzer by pouring about 1/4 cup of the reduced syrup over ice, then top with sparkling water. The reduced syrup will last in the fridge a week or so. Reply · 23 November, 2022

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