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Mrs Beeton Stewed Pears


This is an original Mrs. Beeton recipe taken from her famous book, Beeton’s Book of Household Management.  Both the quantities and text have been reproduced as originally published, with the exception of a little reformatting of the ingredient list to make it easier to follow. 

Conversion chart

1oz = 25g

1lb = 450g

1 gill =  140ml/4½ fl.oz.

1 teacup = 240ml/8fl.oz.

1 pint = 600ml/20fl.oz.

1 quart = 960ml/32fl.oz.

Go to: -   More Mrs Beeton Recipes  |  History of Mrs. Beeton



8 large pears,

5 oz. of loaf sugar,

6 cloves,

6 whole allspice,

1/2 pint of water,

1/4 pint of port wine,

a few drops of prepared cochineal.

Mode.—Pare the pears, halve them, remove the cores, and leave the stalks on; put them into a lined saucepan with the above ingredients, and let them simmer very gently until tender, which will be in from 3 to 4 hours, according to the quality of the pears. They should be watched, and, when done, carefully lifted out on to a glass dish without breaking them. Boil up the syrup quickly for 2 or 3 minutes; allow it to cool a little, pour it over the pears, and let them get perfectly cold. To improve the colour of the fruit, a few drops of prepared cochineal may be added, which rather enhances the beauty of this dish. The fruit must not be boiled fast, but only simmered, and watched that it be not too much done.

Time.—3 to 4 hours. Average cost, 1s. 6d.
Sufficient for 5 or 6 persons.

Seasonable from September to January.



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Main equipment required to make this recipe


Measuring Jug


Wooden or Plastic Spoon


Make Ahead/Freeze

Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days

Not suitable for freezing


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