Pears with Vanilla Sugar Syrup and Black Peppercorns

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Mary Ann first had this delicious poached pear dessert while sitting at a table in the venerable Grand Hotel Timeo restaurant in Taormina, Sicily. Watch Mary Ann Esposito make Pears with Vanilla Sugar Syrup and Black Peppercorns at!

Cook time: 10 Minutes



  • 4 ripe Anjou pears, stemmed, cut in half, cored and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 medium vanilla bean
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns


  1. Cover the pear slices with lemon juice and allow to stand covered for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the water and sugar in a medium-size saucepan. Bring to boil, lower the heat to simmer.
  3. Slit the vanilla bean lengthwise with a small knife. Scrape out the seeds with the knife tip and add to the water and sugar mixture.
  4. Scoop the pear slices from the lemon juice and add them to the water and sugar mixture along with the peppercorns. Simmer for 10 minutes. Cool in the pan then transfer to a bowl. Serve at room temperature.