Wine Poached Pears
Originally published December 27, 2012. Updated on 7/2/2021
Looking for an easy, elegant dessert to serve on New Year's Eve? Look no further - Poached Pears are the way to go!
Poaching is a great way to use fruit when it’s either off-season and less than perfect, or just a bit under ripe.
The fruit is cooked in a flavorful liquid - usually, wine - that is sweetened with sugar and/or honey, and flavored with any number of ingredients.
This cooking process sweetens and softens the fruit, so you’re actually quite a bit better off starting with firm and under-ripe!
Wine Poached Pears
This is a great base recipe, but feel free to experiment with it.
You’ll find flavor combinations to try below- or just run wild with your own imagination!
Poached fruit is great when served as slices on top of cheesecakes (or other desserts), on ice cream... served in halves or as whole fruit.
A whole poached pear, perched in a martini glass and drizzled with a little chocolate is a statement kind of dessert!
This recipe is from my first cookbook, The Spirited Baker.
Poached Pear Flavours
Flavoring Items of Choice
Vanilla beans (cut in half, lengthwise), whole cloves, zest/juice of citrus fruits, tea bags, cinnamon sticks, mint leaves, rosemary… whatever you feel like using!
I recommend not using too many different flavors – I like to let the flavor of the fruit shine through.
For this recipe, we used one vanilla bean, and the peels of two clementine oranges.
Wine – red, white, rose, champagne, mead – any type that you like drinking.
Favorite spirits, such as rum, whisky, and brandy can also be used. Fruit juice or water can be added for extra flavor, or to cut too-strong wine flavors.
This recipe comes from my first cookbook, The Spirited Baker. It’s FULL of fun, tasty recipes using spirits and liqueurs for flavour – you should check it out:
Combining liqueurs with more traditional baking ingredients can yield spectacular results. Try Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake, Candy Apple Flan, Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle, Lynchburg Lemonade Cupcakes, Pina Colada Rum Cake, Strawberry Daiquiri Chiffon Pie, and so much more.
To further add to your creative possibilities, the first chapter teaches how to infuse spirits to make both basic and cream liqueurs, as well as homemade flavor extracts! This book contains over 160 easy-to-make recipes, with variation suggestions to help create hundreds more! Order your hard copy here on my website, through Amazon, or through any major bookseller.
More Boozy Desserts
Looking for more desserts with spirit? Here are a few more recipes that feature liqueur as a flavouring ingredient:
Bahama Mama Torte
Bananas Foster Pavlova
Boozy Chocolate Haystack Cookies
Boozy Crème Brûlée
Boozy Raspberry-Peach Bread Pudding
Jalapeno Beer Baklava
Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake
Melon Ball Trifle
Peachy Southern Comfort Cheesecake
Rum Runner Trifle
Southern Comfort Peach Popsicles
Tropical Fruit & Rum Cookies
... and be sure to check out my "Spirited Baking & Cooking Recipes" category for more!
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Wine Poached Pears
- 4 Large, firm pears
- 3 cups Fruity Red Wine of Choice
- ¾ – 1 cup Granulated Sugar
- Flavoring items of choice *
- Peel the pears, leaving the stems on – it’s prettier that way.
- In a medium saucepan, combine your wine with sugar, bring to a boil. Cook, stirring until all sugar is dissolved.
- Turn the heat down to low, add flavoring items of choice. At this point, it’s a good idea to taste the syrup to make sure that the liquid is sweet enough for your taste.
- Add the pears to the pot. If they float, laying a small, heat proof dish on top to weigh them down works well.
- Cover the pot and allow the fruit to cook through to desired softness – this may happen in 10 minutes, it may take 40-60 minutes. Just poke it every once in awhile to see how it’s doing.
- Once pears cooked through, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cool, move to fridge to chill for at least an hour.
- When ready to serve, remove pears from poaching liquid.
- To make a sauce to serve with the pears, return the poaching liquid to the stove top, simmer until reduced in volume and thickened.