Dutch recipe: Stewed Pears

Weekend Cooking

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. It is hosted by Beth Fish Reads.

Dutch FoodStewed pears are something many Dutch people like to eat with their main meal as a side dish or for desert. We never stew apples (at least not as a nation) but stewed pears are popular, and you can also buy them ready-made in the supermarket – in the fruit section, in a plastic container with some of the juice.

Stewed pears are sweet and soft and especially nice with spicy food.  We make sure they’re cooled down before we eat it; we might even refrigerate them for a while, if there’s time!


The pears we use are pears that are especially sold to make stewed pears: Giesser Wildeman pears. They are quite small, hard, and ugly looking. When cooked, they become soft and delicious.

Stewed Pears: What you need


1 kilogram (2 pounds or lbs) of hard pears, such as Giesser Wildeman

1 stick of cinnamon or a tablespoon of cinnamon powder


2 sachets of vanilla sugar, 8 grams (0.3 oz) each (this is just sugar with vanilla flavor, really)

2 tablespoons of honey (optional)

3-4 cloves

Stewed Pears: How to prepare

1. Peel the pears. You can either cut them in fours, take out the core OR leave them whole.

2. Put in a pan. If the pears are whole, stand them up in a pan that is just big enough (that way, you need less water, and the liquid will become more syrup-y).

Pears in pan w. cinnamon/cloves

3. Add water so the pears are just covered. Add cinnamon and cloves. Bring to the boil.

4. Add sugar and honey.

5. Put on a low heat for at least 1.5 to 2 hours, until the liquid becomes syrup-y. (I never manage to get a syrup, but maybe you will!) Stir every now and then.

Pears after one hour

Above the result after one hour of cooking. After 2 hours, the pears will be even more red-brown in colour:

Pears after 2 hours

6. Take the cloves and cinnamon stick out of the pan and let the pears cool down. Keep them in the refrigerator until use, and don’t forget to use the delicious syrup, too!

Pears - ready to be eaten

About Judith
I'm owner and editor at bookhelpline.com and bookhelpline.nl. We edit books and articles for independent writers.

15 Responses to Dutch recipe: Stewed Pears

  1. Margot says:

    I love pears and this recipe sounds delicious – and easy. I’m going to give it a try. I like your suggestion of partnering this with spicy food.

  2. Iris says:

    I haven’t had this in such a long while (I never make it myself, as I suggested on twitter, I am an “appelmoes” sort of girl). I always wait until my mother makes them when I visit home. But I guess now I can try to make them myself. They are a great autumn treat 🙂

    • leeswammes says:

      It’s actually very simple to make, Iris. It took me years of living outside my parents’ home before I attempted this, but it’s really quite easy. The most difficult part is to plan it so that you will be at home for the 2 hours or so that it needs to cook.

  3. bethfishreads says:

    I missed out by being in The Netherlands in the early spring. I didn’t get any stewed pears. 😦

    But lucky me — now I can make them myself! I bet this would be good on ice cream or pound cake. (My creative wheels are turning.)

    • leeswammes says:

      Beth, that’s right. Pears are of course autumn fare. Ice cream or cake would be nice too. Actually, my supermarket sells “stewed pear cake” which is like a pound cake with pears. 🙂

  4. bermudaonion says:

    I guess we could use sugar and vanilla extract in the US. I went to high school and college with a girl from the Netherlands, but she became very Americanized when she was here. She’s back in the Netherlands now and we’re still in touch – I’ll have to ask her about her stewed pears!

    • leeswammes says:

      Yes, bermudaonion, I’m certain sugar and vanilla extract would be fine too. We have both: vanilla sugar and vanilla extract. I’m not sure why there is such a thing as vanilla sugar. Maybe both sugar and vanilla get used a lot in Dutch recipes so it’s handy to combine them.

      The Dutch (some at least, not me) have a fascination with everything American (or at least, used to have in the 80s and 90s, not sure about now). So your Dutch friend may have taken the chance to become as American as she could. When you ask her about the pears, ask about “stoofpeertjes” (stove – pere – tjus)!

  5. Tes says:

    I have no idea cooking pears can be this delicious! I will definitely enjoy this with a scoop of ice-cream 🙂

  6. Oh, this sounds so yummy! a recipe to file away. Thank you!

  7. Suzanne says:

    Yummmmmy. I love pears and I can only imagine what this smells like as it’s stewing.

  8. Meg says:

    How fun and delicious-looking! Thanks for sharing with us — I could see myself digging right into a dish like that!

  9. Eveline says:

    Lovely, those ‘ stoofpeertjes’. And to give the pears an even more delicious look, just add some red wine or currant juice. They will turn reddish (is this an English word???). I just mean: they will get a red/dark pink color.

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