Delicious & Easy

Festive Poached Pears

Pears are delightful as they are but poaching takes them to another level. The red wine used in this recipe lends to a festive presentation that's perfect for serving to holiday guests or eat them all yourself. It's also a great way to use up red wine that may have been opened for too long.

Poached pears will typically last two to three days refrigerated, perfect for preparing in advance. Storing them in the poaching liquid will keep them from drying out and add to the flavor. Serve hot or cold and enjoy them as is, added to a dessert, or even a salad.

Ingredients for

Festive Poached Pears

2 to 3 cups red wine (merlot or cabernet sauvignon)

1 orange, juiced, and 1 large piece of peel removed

10 whole cloves

2 whole star anise

1 cinnamon stick

1 vanilla bean (or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract)

½ cup sugar

4 Bosc pears, peeled with stems intact

Instructions for

Festive Poached Pears

Add all ingredients except pears to a large pot and heat over medium heat. Your pot should be large enough for the pears to submerge comfortably and nestle together. Bring the wine mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Once the poaching liquid is ready, peel the pears and lower them into the pot, submerging as much as possible. Lower the heat and simmer pears for 20 minutes, rotating or moving every few minutes if necessary to ensure all of the pears are equally submerged. Remove the poached pears and set them aside. Pears can be served at room temperature or chilled, and optionally, cut in half before serving. Continue to simmer the poaching liquid until reduced into a syrup. Remove whole spices and brush or drizzle pears with poaching syrup before serving.

Frequently asked

Questions About This Recipe

How do you peel the pear?

You'll want to peel it carefully to remove as much of the skin as possible while keeping the stem intact. Once peeled, set them in a bath of water with a splash of lemon juice or vinegar to prevent premature browning.

Do you have to peel the pears?

Pear skin tends to become tougher when cooked, and peeling them will insure a more even distribution of the jewel-like color they develop from the red wine.


Notes & Thoughts

While Bosc pears are preferred for most poaching applications, Bartlett and Anjou will work too.