Poached Pear Parfaits

Coconut whipped cream flecked with vanilla beans, pears bathed in winter spices and a light sprinkling of pistachio dust make up these fantastic poached pear parfaits.

poached pear parfaitsOver the summer I made these poached plum parfaits for a lady boss soiree. They went over so well that it made the wheels in my brain start churning, and I knew I needed to make a wintery version of that tasty summer treat.

poached pear parfaitsFast forward to a few months later when juicy pears are now in season. Don’t you just love pears? I always seem to forget how good they are until winter rolls around. And of course they’re ideal for poaching, so poached pear parfaits are the new poached plum parfaits.

poached pear parfaitsThe formula and preparation for this dessert is quite simple (and the presentation is super pretty!), making it one of those desserts that’s made for entertaining.


poached pear parfaitsIt starts with a poaching liquid for the pears that doubles as a syrup to drizzle onto the parfaits later. Here I just infused a simple syrup (sugar+water) with fresh ginger and star anise. So wintery.

poached pear parfaitsNext comes the coconut whipped cream. Have you ever had coconut whipped cream? It’s a cloudy, fluffy dream come true, and just as easy to make as regular whipped cream. Using coconut cream actually makes these poached pear parfaits vegan, but you could easily swap in regular whipped cream if you wanted to. I also mixed in some vanilla beans and found that I didn’t need to add any extra sweetener to the coconut whipped cream.

poached pear parfaitsThen, we layer. Coconut cream, pears, a little syrup, and repeat the process.

poached pear parfaits

poached pear parfaitsFinish off with some pistachio dust for a little textural contrast and that’s it. Definitely serve these poached pear parfaits in clear glasses so everyone can see those pretty layers!

poached pear parfaitsAnd don’t be surprised at how quickly they get devoured!

poached pear parfaits


poached pear parfaits
5 from 1 vote

Poached Pear Parfaits

Coconut whipped cream flecked with vanilla beans, pears bathed in winter spices and a light sprinkling of pistachio dust make up these fantastic poached pear parfaits.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Christmas dessert with pears, pear dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 340 kcal
Author Denisse Salinas


For the poached pears:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1- inch piece fresh ginger thinly sliced
  • 2 whole star anise pods
  • 2 pears thinly sliced
  • For the parfait:
  • 1 14- ounce can coconut cream chilled overnight
  • ½ vanilla bean split and seeds removed
  • ¼ cup shelled pistachios


  1. Stir sugar and water together in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add ginger and star anise and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved, about 1 minute. Stir in the pears and simmer until just tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a plate. Boil the poaching liquid over high heat until reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes. Discard the ginger and star anise and return the pears to the liquid, stirring to coat.
  3. To make the coconut whipped cream, chill a mixing bowl for about 10 minutes in the freezer. Scrape out the top, thickened cream from the cans and leave the liquid behind (reserve for another use).
  4. Place hardened cream in the chilled mixing bowl. Beat for 30 seconds with a mixer until creamy. Then add vanilla bean and mix for 1-2 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
  5. Pulse the pistachios in a coffee grinder or food processor until a fine powdered consistency is reached.
  6. Layer coconut cream and poached pears with a bit of poaching liquid in clear glasses. Top with pistachio dust.


poached pear parfaits

poached pear parfaits

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