- In a large saucepan, heat the water and sugar until warm and the sugar is dissolved.
- Add any of the additions that you wish.
- Slide in the pears and cover with a round of parchment paper, with a small hole cut in the center.
- Keep the liquid at a very low boil and simmer the pears until cooked through, 15-20 minutes, depending on the pears.
- Remove from heat and let the pears cool in their liquid.
- Serve the pears warm or at room temperature. Accompany with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Optional: After poaching the pears, while the liquid is still warm, add approximately 1/2 cup dried sour cherries, cranberries, raisins, or dried currants and let them plump.