In 4-quart Dutch oven, mix 1 1/2 cups sugar, the water, ginger and lemon juice. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Boil 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sugar is melted. Stir in almond extract. Add pear halves; cover and return to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer covered 8 to 10 minutes or until pears are tender when pierced with tip of knife. Remove pears from liquid, using slotted spoon, to bowl; cover and refrigerate until serving.