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Poached Pomegranate Spiced Pears In A Rice Cooker Recipe

by Jeanette on December 19, 2011 · 25 Comments
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Pomegranate Spiced Poached Pear made in a Rice Cooker

Pomegranate Spiced Poached Pear with Orange Cashew Cream

This time of year, holiday cookies and desserts seem to be the star of the show. Last holiday season, I made some gorgeous Pomegranate Poached Pears simply by poaching pears in pomegranate juice, grape juice and some warm spices. They were such a hit with my kids that I wanted to make more this year. But, somehow I got the idea that poaching the pears in my rice cooker might make it an even easier recipe.

I love my rice cooker and use it almost every day of the week to make rice. A rice cooker is kind of like a slow cooker in the sense that it can be left alone to do its thing, and can keep food warm for a while even after it’s done cooking. This feature is especially appealing to me since I’m often running the kids around just before dinnertime, and want to be able to serve dinner as soon as everyone walks in the door (they are starving by then!).

I’ve been trying to think out of the box lately about how to use my rice cooker. Why not use a rice cooker to make other grains (I know Karina Gluten-Free Goddess has made quinoa in a rice cooker), or cook a meal in it. That’s how this crazy idea of poaching the pears in my rice cooker came about. Cooking the pears in a rice cooker is probably a mix between steaming and poaching. I made Steamed Ginger Peaches and Pears in late summer and they turned out fabulously, so the idea of cooking pears in a rice cooker isn’t so far fetched.

Poached Pomegranate Spiced Pears in a Rice Cooker

Poached Pomegranate Spiced Pears in a Rice Cooker

I made a few tweaks to my original poached pear recipe, using apple cider instead of grape juice. I also made some decadently rich Orange Cashew Cream to serve alongside the pears. These Pomegranate Spiced Poached Pears would make an elegant holiday dessert, and even better, they can be made ahead of time.

I served these after dinner the other night to the boys in these martini glasses. They loved the special presentation.

5 from 1 reviews
Poached Pomegranate Spiced Pears in a Rice Cooker
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 2 firm pears, Anjou or Bosc, peeled, halved, cored
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • One 3" cinnamon stick
  • peel from one clementine
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 black cardamon pods
  • One 1" piece fresh ginger, peeled, cut into thin slivers
  • Orange Cashew Cream for serving, if desired
  1. Place pomegranate juice, apple cider, cinnamon stick, clementine peel, cloves, star anise, cardamon pods and ginger in rice cooker. Place pear halves in poaching liquid.
  2. Close rice cooker and cook on "white rice" setting for 50 minutes, or until tender (a toothpick should go through easily).
  3. Open cover and turn pears over. Let sit for 1 hour. Turn pears over again and let sit for another hour. You can also refrigerate these overnight for a more intense flavor and color.
  4. Serve with Orange Cashew Cream.
If you like a more intense color and flavor, let pears sit in poaching liquid overnight. Of course, you can also make these on the stove top.

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  1. Okay, now I’m convinced I need to be more creative with my rice cooker! Gorgeous pears, gorgeous presentation, and I love that you served it as an everyday dessert.

  2. how clever! Great idea

  3. What a beautiful and festive idea. Love this!

    • Thanks Sommer – I do love the natural color of these poached pears, and the martini glasses made this simple dessert look elegant enough for company.

  4. i love the presentation!

  5. I love the presentation, they look so beautiful!

  6. These are so incredibly gorgeous, Jeanette! I love that you used your rice cooker to make them. I got a rice cooker cookbook earlier this year and I’ve enjoyed using it and new and different ways. Will have to try this idea next!

  7. love the color of these pears! very pretty presentation too. it will definitely make people eat some..i like the pomegranate and the orange cream with it. amazing play of flavors!

    • Thanks RIcha – the orange cashew cream is a nice compliment to these pomegranate pears – my kids really liked it.

  8. Love the beautiful color the pomegranate juice gives the pears. This is such a nice light dessert.

    • Thanks Sylvie – I do like the natural color and sweetness of pomegranate juice, and this is definitely a nice way to finish off a meal.

  9. Poached pears are great & a natural sweet treat. I have been wanting to get my hands on some star anise & I can never find it…

  10. Ugh I SO wish I had a rice cooker now! I wonder if a crockpot would get the job done equally as well? These sound so tasty! Love that two of my favorite fall/winter fruits are featured here!

    • Joanne – a rice cooker is well worth the investment, especially if you eat whole grains. I’m sure a crockpot would work just as well for these poached pears, but not sure how long you would need to cook them.

  11. These poached pears look absolutely stunning Jeanette – I love the simplicity and purity of the ingredients. The star anise is lovely in the presentation.

  12. i love how u used the rice cooker! how easy and quick! these look delightful! hehe your boys are gonna have such a fine palette when they grow up :). my mom cooks beans in the rice cooker with her rice!

    • Thankfully my boys are open to trying almost anything I put on the table. That’s a great idea – cooking beans with rice in the rice cooker, will have to give that a try.

  13. I don’t have a rice cooker – but I can see my way through this anyway – it is so seasonal (and indeed…. shhh healthy). The colors just sparkle. I am trying to access your latest post – it’s not showing up yet and in case I cannot – wishing you the happiest of holidays. May your days be merry and bright!

  14. These are beautiful Jeanette! I don’t have a rice cooker, but I’ve put a slow cooker on my Christmas wish list {I’m pretty sure my husband got the hint :-)}, so I’m definitely going to try making these! Orange cashew cram sounds fabulous too! I made a maple cashew cream to go on top on purple rice pudding with fresh mango. Divine!

  15. Wow…I would never have thought of making poached pears in a rice cooker! That’s such a creative way to use the appliance!

    Beautiful presentation, by the way!

  16. I tried it for my beloved and she just loved it.

    Thanks for sharing this brilliant out of the box recepie

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