Stoofperen (Dutch Poached Pears)

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Dutch stewed cooking-pears are traditionally eaten in December.

The Netherlands in December

This Dutch Poached Pears recipe is a great side dish for cold winter weather.

Apart from being rainy, the Netherlands can also be very cold. When the days get shorter and the temperatures lower, Dutch cuisine adapts. Many traditional Dutch winter dishes are stews and this particular one is kind of.

Pears are native to the Netherlands and apart from making liquor and eating them right from the tree, you can also stew them. The traditional Dutch Poached Pears recipe (the Dutch say ‘Stoofperen’) uses red wine and quite some spices to warm you up during those cold short days around Christmas.

Which kind of pear should I use for my Dutch Poached Pears?

So, which pear to use for your “Stoofperen”.

In general: the smaller, the better. But if you can really choose, then the Gieser Wildeman is the preferred species. It’s a specific one that you can find in most supermarkets in the Netherlands during winter, but chances are very slim you’ll get it outside the Netherlands.

If you can choose, go for the three S-s: small, soft and sweet.


For 3-4 servings as a side dish

Dutch stewed cooking-pears ingredients
  • 7 (small) pears
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 star anise (or a teaspoon of crushed anise)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 25 grams (1 Oz) of sugar
  • The skin of 1 lemon
  • 0.75 liter of red wine or 0.5 liter of port
  • Water

Note: not all wines are vegan. Some brands use animal products to clarify it. You can check to see if your wine is vegan-friendly.

Kitchen utensils

  • A big pan
  • Vegetable peeler

How to make Dutch stew cooking-pears

Prep: 5 min. | Cook: 5 min. | Wait: 3 hours

  1. If you use red wine, take some 25 cl (1 Oz) of water and 25 grams (1 Oz) of sugar. Mix together and bring to a boil in your large pan so that the sugar dissolves.
    If you use port, take 50 cl (2 Oz) of water.
  1. In the meantime, wash the lemon and peel with a vegetable peeler. Also, peel the pears (but don’t cut them).
  1. When the sugar is dissolved in the water, add all the 2 star anise, the 2 cloves and the bay leaf togehter with the pears to the pan. Add 0.75 cl of red wine or 0.5 liter of port. If the pears are not sufficiently covered by the liquid, add a bit of water. 
Dutch stewed cooking pears just in the pan
The pears should be sufficiently covered.
  1. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to low.

  2. Let stew on medium temperature for some 3 hours or more.
Dutch stewed cooking-pears are ready to serve!
Dutch stewed cooking-pears ready to serve!

After some 3 hours, your Dutch Poached Pears are ready to serve.

Pro tip: why not drink the liquid as your own Glühwein with a little touch? 🙂

Dutch stewed cooking-pears are traditionally eaten in December.


Recipe: Dutch Poached Pears
Country: Netherlands
Prep: 5 min.
Cook: 5 min.
Wait 3 hrs.
Ingredients: pear, lemon, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, red wine, port, bay leaf, sugar
Type of meal: side dish

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