Poached Pears in Red Wine: A Decadent Dessert Recipe

Good day, food-loving friends! Today’s recipe is one that will enchant your taste buds and impress your guests. I present to you the poached pears in red wine recipe. Imagine juicy, tender pears infused with cinnamon, vanilla, and clove notes, bathing in a spiced red wine pool. The aroma alone will inspire your senses.

This dessert is versatile and can be enjoyed all year round. Served warm in the winter, it will provide comfort on cold days, while served chilled during summer, it will refresh like no other dessert.

And best of all, the poached pears in red wine recipe takes minimal effort to prepare. With a handful of ingredients that are easy to get hold of from your local grocery store, you can have an indulgent dessert ready in no time.

So what are you waiting for? Follow me to the kitchen as we dive into the world of poached pears in red wine.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Poached Pears in Red Wine
Poached Pears in Red Wine

Are you looking for the perfect dessert to impress your dinner guests? Look no further! This Poached Pears in Red Wine recipe is sure to be a hit.

Firstly, the combination of sweet pears and tangy red wine is an absolute delight for your taste buds. The pears are perfectly cooked and infused with the delicious flavors of cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, black peppercorns, vanilla bean, and honey. The result is a dessert that is rich, flavorful, and truly unique.

Secondly, this recipe is incredibly easy to make. With just a few simple instructions, you’ll be able to make a beautiful and impressive dessert in no time at all. All you need to do is combine the wine and spices in a saucepan, add your peeled and cored pears, simmer them until they are tender and infused with flavor, and then serve them in bowls topped with their poaching liquid.

Lastly, this recipe is extremely versatile. You can easily adjust the sweetness or spice level to suit your preferences or use different types of pears depending on what’s in season. Additionally, these poached pears can be served on their own or paired with a variety of other desserts such as dark chocolate sauce, ice cream or crème anglaise.

Overall, this Poached Pears in Red Wine recipe is an easy-to-make showstopper that is sure to leave your guests asking for seconds. Trust me; you don’t want to miss out on this delightful dessert!

Ingredient List

 Jewels in Red Wine: Poached Pears
Jewels in Red Wine: Poached Pears

The ingredients needed to create these flavorful Poached Pears in Red Wine are straightforward and easy to find at your local grocery store. Below is a comprehensive list of everything you will need:


  • 4 ripe pears (Bosc or Anjou work best)
  • 1 bottle of dry red wine
  • 2 cups of orange juice
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 black peppercorn
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

The combination of red wine, oranges, and spices creates an irresistible aroma that will have your guests salivating before they even see the dish. Make sure you pick ripe pears for the best results.

The Recipe How-To

 Perfectly Poached Pears Ready to be Devoured
Perfectly Poached Pears Ready to be Devoured

Step 1: Poaching Liquid

In a large saucepan, combine 2 cups of dry red wine, 1 ½ cups of orange juice, ½ cup of sugar, 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 tablespoons of honey, 4 whole cloves, and 1 star anise. Use a vegetable peeler to remove wide strips of orange peel from two oranges and add them in the pan along with a split vanilla bean. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and then heat up the mixture to a simmer over medium heat.

Step 2: Pear Preparation

While waiting for the poaching liquid to come to a simmer, wash and peel 4 ripe pears. Use Bosc or Anjou pears as they are the right texture for poaching. Cut off just enough at the base so they stand upright.

Use an apple corer, melon baller or spoon to scoop out the core of each pear carefully. Leave the stem intact for decoration purposes.

Step 3: Poaching Pears

Add the pears into the pan with the poaching liquid. Cover them by up to two-thirds with a cartouche (a round piece of baking paper dotted with butter).

Leave them to cook for 20-30 minutes, turning them occasionally so that they cook evening on all sides, until they are tender when poked with a knife.

Step 4: Finishing Touches
Remove the cooked pears from the poaching liquid using a slotted spoon and place them on plates along with vanilla mascarpone cream, chocolate sauce or crème anglaise if desired.Serve immediately.

Alternatively, reduce the remaining poaching liquid over high heat until syrupy and thickened for about 10 minutes for making spiced pear syrup. This syrup can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week.

Voilà, enjoy your delicious and visually appealing red wine poached pears!

Substitutions and Variations

 The Ultimate Fall Dessert: Poached Pears in Red Wine
The Ultimate Fall Dessert: Poached Pears in Red Wine

If you’re looking to switch up the flavors in this poached pears recipe, there are plenty of substitutions and variations to try. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

– Pears: While bosc and anjou pears work best for poaching, you can certainly experiment with other varieties, such as bartlett or comice.

– Wine: Instead of a dry red wine, you could use a sweet port or sherry for a richer flavor. You could also use white wine instead of red if you prefer.

– Spices: Don’t have black peppercorns or whole cloves on hand? You could use ground versions instead. You could also add in some star anise or cardamom pods for extra warmth and depth.

– Sweeteners: If you don’t have honey on hand, you can use maple syrup or agave nectar instead. You could also swap out the sugar for brown sugar or coconut sugar.

– Serving suggestions: Want to take this dish in a different direction? Instead of serving the poached pears on their own, try topping them with vanilla mascarpone cream, dark chocolate sauce, crème anglaise, or a scoop of ice cream. You could also slice them up and serve them over fruit salad or yogurt for breakfast.

Overall, this recipe is fairly forgiving when it comes to substitutions and adaptations. Feel free to experiment with different flavors and ingredients to make it your own.

Serving and Pairing

 A Sophisticated, yet Comforting Treat
A Sophisticated, yet Comforting Treat

The poached pears in red wine recipe is a decadent, yet comforting dessert perfect for a cozy evening spent indoors. The warm spices and rich flavors of the recipe make it an ideal pairing for a full-bodied red wine that can stand up to the sweet and spicy flavors of the dish.

For a classic pairing, try serving the poached pears with a hearty Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot that will complement the depth of flavors in the spiced red wine sauce. If you prefer something on the lighter side, a Pinot Noir or Beaujolais would make a delicious match, as they have notes of cherry and spice that will accentuate the flavors of the pears.

Additionally, consider topping each pear with some freshly whipped cream or sour cream to add richness and balance to each bite. Alternatively, serve with a scoop of ice cream or drizzle with chocolate sauce or crème anglaise for an extra decadent touch.

For those who prefer something non-alcoholic, a cup of warm spiced tea or apple cider would be lovely accompaniments to this cozy dessert. Finally, if you have leftover poached pears, they can be used in a range of dishes such as fresh fruit salads, baked goods like tarts and pies or even as garnish for cocktails.

However you choose to enjoy this recipe, paired with the perfect wine or beverage, it’s sure to impress even the most discerning palates!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The Perfect Marriage of Sweetness and Richness: Poached Pears in Red Wine
The Perfect Marriage of Sweetness and Richness: Poached Pears in Red Wine

Poached pears in red wine is the perfect dessert for entertaining because you can make it ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve. After poaching, let the pears cool to room temperature, then transfer them to an airtight container and cover with the poaching liquid. The poached pears will keep well in the refrigerator for up to three days.

If you are planning on reheating the poached pears, gently warm them in their poaching liquid over low heat, making sure not to boil the liquid. Alternatively, place the pears and their liquid in a microwave-safe dish and heat on low power in 30-second increments until warmed through.

If you have leftover poaching liquid, strain it into a saucepan, discarding any solids like spices or orange peel. Bring the poaching liquid to a boil then reduce heat to simmer until it reduces by half. This concentrates its flavor and results in a delicious syrupy sauce that can be served with the pears or used as a topping for ice cream or yogurt.

If you don’t have any leftover poaching liquid or wish to make extra sauce, simply combine one cup of dry red wine and a quarter cup of honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves, then bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. Let cool before serving alongside your poached pears.

With these tips on storing and reheating, you can easily make this decadent dessert ahead of time, even days before serving.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Melt-in-Your-Mouth Goodness: Poached Pears
Melt-in-Your-Mouth Goodness: Poached Pears

To achieve perfect results in poaching pears in red wine, keep in mind the following tips:

1. Choose the Right Pears: Make sure to select ripe but firm and unblemished pears – Bosc and Anjou pears work best for poaching.

2. Use the Right Wine: Choose a dry red wine with a rich, fruity flavor that can stand up to the sweetness of the pears. Avoid using wines that are overly tannic or acidic. The type of wine used in this recipe can significantly affect the final outcome, so don’t skimp on quality.

3. Spices are Your Friends: Adding spices like cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, star anise, and vanilla bean can enrich the flavor of both the wine and the poached pears. However, be careful not to overdo it as you may end up overpowering the delicate flavor of the fruit.

4. Don’t Boil the Wine: Boiling wine can result in an unpleasant, bitter taste. Instead, bring it just to a simmer and reduce heat to maintain that temperature throughout cooking.

5. Be Patient: Allow enough time for your pears to poach gently until they’re tender without breaking down entirely. Keep a watchful eye and test frequently with a knife or toothpick.

6. Make Sure to Cool Properly: When taking your poached pears out of their boiling liquid, let them cool slowly for at least 30 minutes before transferring them to a separate dish or container. This will prevent them from losing their shape and texture.

By following these tips and guidelines closely, you should be able to prepare flavorful and delicately textured poached pears that are sure to impress your guests!

Bottom Line

If you’re looking to elevate your dessert game and impress your guests with a luxurious and elegant treat, then look no further than poached pears in red wine. With this recipe, you’ll create a stunning and scrumptious dessert that is the perfect blend of sweetness, tartness, and flavor.

Not only is it easy to make and requires minimal ingredients, but it is also highly versatile. You can serve it with a dollop of sour cream, vanilla mascarpone cream, chocolate sauce or crème anglaise, or even pair it with some fruit or ice cream. It’s an ideal dessert for any occasion – be it a fancy dinner party or a cozy night in.

This spiced red wine poached pear recipe can also be customized to suit your preferences. You can substitute the dry red wine for a fruity one or even use white wine for a milder flavor. If you prefer your pears sweeter, you can add more honey or sugar to the mixture.

In conclusion, this poached pears in red wine recipe is sure to tantalize your taste buds and satisfy your sweet tooth. Give it a try and indulge in its rich delicacy. It’s an excellent way to enjoy fresh Bosc or Anjou pears while enjoying the warm and comforting flavors of spiced red wine. So what are you waiting for? Whip up this fabulous dessert that’s both simple and sophisticated today!

Poached Pears in Red Wine

Poached Pears in Red Wine Recipe

This is a really pretty dessert, because the pears get a red blush from the wine.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 4 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Calories 446.9 kcal


  • 1 (750 ml) bottle red wine, I like merlot, a good label (if you wouldn't drink it, don't cook with it)
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 lemon, juice of
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 2 inches piece orange rind
  • 1 clove
  • 1 black peppercorns
  • 4 firm ripe pears
  • whipped cream or sour cream, to serve


  • Place the wine, sugar, honey, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, orange rind, clove and peppercorn in a saucepan just large enough to hold the pears standing upright. Heat gently, stirring occasionally until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Meanwhile, peel the pears, leaving the stem intact. Take a thin slice off the bottom of each pear to keep it standing upright.
  • Place the pears in the wine mixture, then simmer uncovered for 20-35 minutes depending on size and ripeness, until the pears are just tender; be careful not to overcook.
  • Carefully transfer the pears to a bowl, using a slotted spoon. Continue to boil the poaching liquid until reduced bu about half. Let cool, then strain the cooled liquid over the pears and chill for at least 3 hours.
  • Place the pears in four individual serving dishes and spoon a little of the red wine syrup over them. Serve with whipped cream or sour cream.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 473gCalories: 446.9kcalCarbohydrates: 81.4gProtein: 0.8gFat: 0.2gSodium: 9.7mgFiber: 5.2gSugar: 68g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Dessert, Egg-free, Free Of..., Fruit, Lactose-free, Pears
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