Multicolored pears (Italian: pere-multicolor)

I found this beautiful photograph on, and clicked on the recipe.

Alas! The recipe was in Italian!

Luckily, I have a friend in Italy who’s an excellent translator. I sent it over the transom to Sveva Ricciardi, in Napoli, asking her, “How did they DO that?”

Based on her reply, here’s the answer:

The recipe calls for 12 Martin Sec (martine) pears, peeled. Substitute any small, firm cooking pears.

For the red pears:

4 pears, peeled
2 C red wine (lambrusco)
2/3 C sugar
1 aniseed
1 stick cinnamon
2 cloves
4 black peppercorns

For the yellow pears

4 pears, peeled
2 C water
1/2 C honey
Pinch of saffron
1 small piece of fresh ginger
Zest of 1 orange, in strips

For the green pears

4 pears
2 C water
2/3 C sugar
1 T jasmine green tea (see note, below)

Take 3 different saucepans. In one, put the wine, sugar, and spices for the red pears. In the second, put the water, honey, saffron, ginger, and orange. In the third, put the water, and sugar, but not the green tea (you add it after cooking the pears). Bring to a boil, put 4 pears in each saucepan, and cook on low for 45 minutes.

Remove from heat and add the tea to the green pears. Let sit until cool.

Remove pears and strain each of the sauces, returning the strained liquid to the three pans. Bring each one to a boil. Simmer until the sauce thickens and becomes a syrup. Pour the sauces over the appropriate-colored pears and serve.

Note: In the original recipe, the author couldn’t find jasmine green tea, so she used green food coloring. But then the pears would just be flavored with sugar. When I make this, I’ll use at least 1 tablespoon of green tea for the flavor, or substitute a teaspoon of jasmine black tea with a few drops of green food coloring.