Red Wine Poached Pears is a must-try dessert. It is simple yet elegant and so easy to prepare. With a handful of ingredients and a little patience, you will be rewarded with the most amazingly light, fruity, and delicious dessert. It is also very attractive with the pears being naturally tinged a maroon color. The longer the poaching, the deeper the color on the pears. Serve them whole in a glass dish or sliced and fanned out on a shallow dish for a contrast of colors.
While using red wine as a poaching liquid is French in origin, poached pears are also found in other cultures. The Chinese often poach their pears with other dried fruits, herbs, and rock sugar. It is considered a nourishing soup said to be good for healing dry coughs. Here is my version using red Anjou pears, white fungus, red dates, and rock sugar.
I used firm Bosc pears for this recipe. They have a denser and crispier texture and can withstand quite a bit of cooking. I often used them in my savory double-boiled pear soup as they have a similar texture to Asian pears. Another pear that may be used for poaching is Anjou.
For the poaching liquid, I used a Merlot spiced with a cinnamon stick and 4 cloves. Other flavorings may include vanilla beans and orange zest. Be sure to reduce the poaching liquid to make a sweet, rich, syrupy sauce to drizzle over the pears. The sauce is also great drizzled over pork chops. Recipe for pork chops will follow soon.
The recipe below was adapted from Ellie Krieger’s Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears over at the Food Network.
- 2 cups (480ml) dry red wine such as merlot or cabernet
- ¼ cup (55g) sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 cloves
- 4 firm Bosc pears, peeled leaving stems intact
Combine red wine, sugar, cinnamon stick, and cloves in a medium size saucepan. Bring to a boil.
Gently lower pears into the pan. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn every few minutes to ensure even color. When done, remove pears from poaching liquid and set aside in a dish.
Continue to boil poaching liquid until slightly thick and syrupy or reduced by about half over medium high heat. This should take about 10 minutes.
Serve pears warm or chilled, either whole or sliced, drizzled with syrup.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!