Using a large spoon, gently place the pear halves, rounded-side down, into the hot syrup. Cover with a layer of paper towels and simmer gently until the pears are tender, about 15 minutes, depending on their ripeness. Remove from the heat. Transfer the pears and syrup into a large bowl. Let cool. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. The pears will keep for 1 week. When ready to serve, drain the pears and set the syrup aside.