Cover and simmer until tender, turning pears once, about 5 minutes. Using a parchment paper to keep the pears submerged is a good trick. Test with a fork. They should still be a little firm. Using slotted spoon, transfer pears to a plate to cool. Put them inside down with half pears and stand the whole pears upright so they don't deform. Boil liquid in saucepan until thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes. I watch for when the syrup get really bubbly and simmer it until it drops off the spoon in a stream and stops before dripping. If you try this do email me and tell me the perfect temperature and I'll buy a candy thermometer. I like the syrup really thick but soft enough to pour when it has been in the fridge. That way it gives a shiny glaze to the pears when I serve them. If you make it too thick and it turns out sticky, you can always add more water. In the pear above, the half pear syrup was just a little too thin for looks but it was oh, so tasty. Pour a little warm syrup over pears, cover with plastic wrap and put them in the fridge until they are cold, at least 3 hours or overnight. Plate the pears in the morning and add garnishes. Pour a little syrup over each one. They are lovely with a little vanilla yogurt for breakfast and if you are serving these up for a desert, use a vanilla ice cream.