Dessert couldn't be easier – peel some pears, mix 3 ingredients, put them in a slow cooker and take them out when tender.
4-6 pears (I used firm packham pears)
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup maple syrup (see Recipe Notes below)
½ cup water
Ice cream, unsweetened yoghurt or crème fraîche
1 Preheat slow cooker for 30 minutes on Preheat setting or Low.
2 Peel pears, leaving stalks intact. If the pears won’t sit flat, slice a little flesh off the bottom with a sharp knife. Mix orange juice, maple syrup and water together. Put pears in slow cooker and pour over syrup. Cover with a lid and cook increase temperature to High.
3 Cook pears for 1½-2 hours, or until tender. Transfer to a plate and pour syrup into a small saucepan. Reduce syrup by half. Dish pears onto individual plates and spoon over a little syrup. Serve with ice cream, yoghurt or crème fraîche.
If preferred, the pears can be served chilled. They will keep 2-3 days, refrigerated, but store the syrup separately so it doesn’t get diluted from juices seeping out of the pears.
The secret too these maple pears is genuine maple syrup from Canada. Avoid using maple-flavoured syrup or other imitations. See notes on Maple Syrup for further information.