Deliciously Rich Pears Poached in Spiced Red Wine

Friends and wine enthusiasts, gather around! Today, I am excited to share with you one of my favorite dessert recipes that is sure to become a staple at your dinner parties. Are you ready to tantalize your taste buds with the rich, luxurious flavors of red wine? Then let me introduce you to my beloved recipe for Pears Poached in Spiced Red Wine.

This isn’t just any ordinary dessert. It’s one that will make a lasting impression on anyone lucky enough to try it. Wine-poaching tenderizes the pears and infuses them with subtle but succulent flavors of cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla while retaining their natural sweetness. The warm spices create an aromatic ambience that pairs nicely with a cozy night in or even a special occasion.

Why settle for regular fruit when you can indulge in something that will transport your senses and leave everyone craving more? So uncork a bottle of red wine and join me on this culinary adventure where we’ll explore the magic of poached pears in all their glory.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Pears Poached in Spiced Red Wine
Pears Poached in Spiced Red Wine

If you’re in search of a dessert that can effortlessly impress anybody, then look no further! This spiced red wine poached pears recipe is not only simple and easy to make but also indulgently flavorful, giving your taste buds an unparalleled experience.

The combination of cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and vanilla extract in red wine serves as the perfect vessel to create this pears masterpiece. The result is a fruit that’s not too sweet or too tart, with subtle hints of spice and warmth that will help you satisfy your winter cravings.

Moreover, this recipe is versatile, allowing you to make various substitutions to best suit your needs. Add a dollop of vanilla mascarpone cream or pair it with dark chocolate sauce for the ultimate pear dessert experience.

Don’t be intimidated by the thought of poaching — it’s easier than it sounds! The process is virtually foolproof and requires little effort; everything goes into the pot and simmers away until the pears are tender and infused with sweetly spiced red wine.

So why not treat yourself to a decadent dessert tonight? This spiced red wine poached pears recipe is precisely what you’ve been looking for, making it a must-try!

Ingredient List

 A cozy, fragrant dessert that will warm you up on a chilly night
A cozy, fragrant dessert that will warm you up on a chilly night

Below is a list of ingredients needed to make these exquisite spiced red wine poached pears:
– 2 cups of red wine
– 1 cup of sugar
– 1/3 cup of fresh orange juice
– Zest from one lemon
– Zest from one orange
– 1 cinnamon stick
– 2 whole cloves
– 6 Bosc or Anjou pears, peeled with stems left on

For the vanilla mascarpone cream, you’ll need:
– 1 vanilla bean
– 1 cup of mascarpone cheese
– 1/3 cup of heavy cream
– 3 tablespoons caster sugar

Feel free to get creative with the type of pears you choose. Bosc or Anjou pears work best for this recipe due to their firmness and ability to hold their shape during cooking. However, if they aren’t available, other varieties can be used as well.

The Recipe How-To

 Wine and pears: a match made in dessert heaven
Wine and pears: a match made in dessert heaven

Now comes the fun part – making this delicious dessert! Follow these steps to make Pears Poached in Spiced Red Wine:

Step 1: Prepare the ingredients

Before we begin the cooking process, it’s important to have all of the ingredients prepared and ready to go. Start by peeling 6 pears of your choice – Bosc or Anjou work best for poaching. Cut off a small slice at the bottom of each pear so that they can stand upright. Next, gather 2 cups of red wine and 1 cup of orange juice. Also grab some spices: 2 cinnamon sticks, 4 whole cloves, 1 star anise, the zest of 1 lemon, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Finally, measure out 3/4 cup sugar.

Step 2: Combine ingredients in a saucepan

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the red wine, orange juice, sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, and vanilla extract.

Step 3: Bring mixture to a boil

Place the saucepan over high heat and bring the mixture to a boil.

Step 4: Add pears and reduce heat to medium-low

Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and add the peeled pears to the pot. Make sure that they are standing upright in the pot.

Step 5: Poach pears for 25 minutes

Allow the pears to poach in the spiced red wine for about 25 minutes until they are tender but still hold their shape.

Step 6: Remove from heat and let cool

After 25 minutes have passed, remove the pot from heat and allow it to cool down slightly. Once cooled, use a slotted spoon to remove pears from the spiced red wine mixture.

Step 7: Reduce the poaching liquid

Return the saucepan to medium-high heat and boil the spiced red wine mixture until it has reduced by half.

Step 8: Strain the sauce and add on top of pears

Once the spiced red wine mixture has reduced, strain the sauce through a fine strainer into a clean bowl. Spoon some of the sauce over each pear and let it cool.

Now that you’ve successfully created this mouth-watering dessert, it’s time to get creative with how you’ll serve them! Read on for some serving suggestions and pairing ideas in the next section.

Substitutions and Variations

 The rich flavor of red wine and spice infuses every juicy bite of these poached pears.
The rich flavor of red wine and spice infuses every juicy bite of these poached pears.

As a sommelier, I know that sometimes you need to make substitutions or variations in a recipe to cater to different tastes or dietary restrictions. Luckily, this spiced red wine poached pears recipe is very versatile and can be adapted in many ways.

First, if you don’t have fresh mint leaves, you can use dried mint instead or simply omit it altogether. Lemon zest adds a brightness to this recipe, but if you don’t have any lemons, you could also try using orange zest or omitting it altogether.

If you don’t have cinnamon sticks on hand, you can substitute them for 1 tsp of ground cinnamon. Similarly, if you don’t have whole cloves, you can use ground cloves or omit them altogether.

For the red wine, use a dry and full-bodied variety such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Shiraz. If alcohol is not your thing or are looking for an alcohol-free version of this recipe then swap out the red wine for cranberry or pomegranate juice. If using fruit juice instead of red wine then cut down on the amount of sugar so that they are not too sweet.

If vanilla extract is unavailable try using almond extract instead. Also when cutting down on the amount of sugar is a priority then use vanilla beans instead of extract.

Pears are the stars of this recipe and Bosc and Anjou work best because their flesh hold up well during poaching but if unavailable , Comice and Bartlett pears would be a good bet too.

To make this dessert more decadent, add toppings such as mascarpone cheese mixed with vanilla extract and simply shave dark chocolate over the top once finished.

In conclusion, feel free to make this recipe your own by incorporating variations and substitutions based on personal taste preferences and available ingredients.

Serving and Pairing

 Who said wine is only for drinking? Use it to create a delicious dessert in under an hour.
Who said wine is only for drinking? Use it to create a delicious dessert in under an hour.

Now that you’ve made these delicious wine-poached pears, it’s time to think about how to best serve and pair them. One simple option is to plate the pears with a drizzle of their cooking liquid and some fresh mint leaves or a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. Another option is to serve them with a dollop of vanilla mascarpone cream, which adds a creamy and slightly tangy element that complements the sweet and spiced pears perfectly.

As for wine pairing, it’s hard to go wrong when serving a dessert wine alongside this dish. A red dessert wine like Ruby or Tawny Port would be an excellent choice, as their rich, fruity flavors will enhance the spices in the poaching liquid while also balancing out the sweetness of the pears. Additionally, a bold red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot could also work well as they have enough body to stand up to the intense flavor profile of this dish.

If you’re feeling adventurous with your pairing options, try pairing these poached pears with dark chocolate for a match made in heaven. The bitterness of the chocolate can help cut through the sweetness of the dish while also complementing the warm spices used in the poaching liquid.

Overall, these wine-poached pears are an elegant and versatile dessert option that pairs beautifully with a variety of wines and accompaniments.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This elegant, sophisticated dessert will wow your dinner guests.
This elegant, sophisticated dessert will wow your dinner guests.

If you’re planning on serving these wine-poached pears for a special occasion or party, you can poach them up to two days ahead of time. Once the pears have been poached and cooled in the wine mixture, transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

When it’s time to serve the poached pears, simply strain them out of the wine mixture and arrange them on a serving platter. Be sure to start plating the pears “bottom down” as they may be slightly uneven after poaching. You could even save some of the poaching liquid to use as a syrup or sauce.

If you have any leftovers, store them in a covered container with some of the remaining spiced red wine syrup. These poached pears will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

To reheat, simply place the desired amount of pears and syrup into a small saucepan over low-medium heat until warm. The pears should be served slightly warm but not hot or they may break apart.

These spiced red wine-poached pears are incredibly versatile and pair well with many flavors. The combination of succulent, sweet pear flesh wrapped in a complex wine-spice aroma is hard to resist. For an extra bit of indulgence, try serving these poached pears with mascarpone, chocolate or vanilla mascarpone cream.

With this recipe, you’ll enjoy this simple but elegant dessert that doubles as an impressive centerpiece for dinner parties, festive gatherings or intimate nights at home.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Impress your sweetheart with a romantic dessert for two.
Impress your sweetheart with a romantic dessert for two.

When it comes to poaching pears in spiced red wine, a few tips can make all the difference. First and foremost, make sure to choose firm, ripe pears that are free of blemishes. Bosc and Anjou pears work best for this recipe as they hold their shape well during the poaching process.

To prevent the pears from turning brown while peeling and prepping them, keep them in cold water with lemon juice or white vinegar until ready to use. This will also help them retain their color while poaching.

When simmering the pears in the spiced red wine mixture, be sure to keep a close eye on them. You want the syrup to bubble gently around the pears, not boil violently, as this could cause them to break apart or become overly soft.

Another important tip is to let the pears cool in the poaching liquid for at least 30 minutes before serving. This allows them to absorb more of the flavors and results in a more flavorful dessert.

For a decadent twist on this classic recipe, try serving the poached spiced red wine pears with mascarpone cheese and shaved dark chocolate. The creamy sweetness of the mascarpone balances out the tartness of the wine, and the chocolate adds a rich depth of flavor.

With these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to achieve perfectly poached spiced red wine pears every time.


Now it’s time for the FAQ section, where I’ll answer some of the most common questions about these wine-poached pears. From selecting the right type of pears to choosing the best wine pairing, I’ve got you covered! So, if you have any doubts or concerns about this recipe, keep reading.

Should pears be peeled before poaching?

When getting ready to poach a pear, it’s important to remove the skin to avoid any unpleasant bitterness caused by the pear’s tannins. Simply use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to carefully remove the skin. Then, cut the pear vertically in half and take out the seeds using a melon baller or spoon. This will ensure that your poached pear has a deliciously sweet and smooth flavor.

What is poached pears in red wine in French?

A beloved dessert from the wine-producing regions of Burgundy and Lyon in France is the poached pears in wine, or famously known as Poire à la Beaujolais.

Should pears be cored before poaching?

It is advisable to remove the core of pears before poaching since cored ones tend to maintain their form more efficiently while cooking compared to their uncored counterparts.

Do you cover pears when poaching?

To cook the pears, gently place them into the liquid and top with a circular parchment paper that has a small hole in the center to allow steam to escape. Maintain the liquid at a low boil and let the pears simmer until they are completely cooked, which should take around 10 to 25 minutes, depending on the type of pear being used.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this spiced red wine poached pears recipe is a must-try for wine and dessert lovers alike. Not only is it incredibly simple to make, but the final result is nothing short of exquisite. The sweet aroma of cinnamon and cloves blended with the fruity taste of red wine creates a flavor that tantalizes your taste buds.

This recipe allows for many variations such as switching out the pears for other fruits like apples or substituting the red wine for white wine. To take this recipe to the next level, try pairing the poached pears with mascarpone cheese and dark chocolate shavings.

Overall, this dish serves as an elegant and satisfying dessert or a beautiful centerpiece for any dinner party. Impress your friends and family with this wine-poached pear recipe, and experience a delightful harmony of flavors brought together in every bite.

Pears Poached in Spiced Red Wine

Pears Poached in Spiced Red Wine Recipe

From Ruth Van Waerebeek’s “Everbody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook.” Ruth recommends this as an accompaniment to her Christmas Turkey. I make this once a year for Thanksgiving. Note: Prepare several hours prior to, if not the day before, serving.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Calories 303.8 kcal


  • 6 firm-ripe large pears, such as Anjou or seckel pears, peeled, stems left intact
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle fruity red wine, such as a California Burgundy
  • 1 lemon, peeled, white pith removed, sliced
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cinnamon sticks (each 2 inches)
  • 1 piece lemon zest (1 inch)
  • 6 fresh mint leaves, for garnish


  • Place the pears and the wine in a nonreactive medium-size saucepan. Be sure the wine completely covers the pears. Stud 4 of the lemon slices with the cloves and add them with all the other ingredients (except the mint) to the pears. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, until the pears are soft but not mushy, 25 to 35 minutes.
  • Transfer the pears to a serving bowl. Reduce the poaching liquid over high heat by one-third to concentrate the flavors. This may take up to 15 minutes. Pour over the pears—cinammon sticks and all—and let cool.
  • Let the pears sit for a few hours, or, ever better, overnight, so they can fully absorb the flavors in the wine. They will turn a beautiful vermillion color.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 390gCalories: 303.8kcalCarbohydrates: 55.9gProtein: 0.9gFat: 0.2gSodium: 7.2mgFiber: 6gSugar: 42.1g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Belgian, Easy, European, Fruit, Pears
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