Poached Pears

January 17, 2012



I have always wanted to make poached pears, and I finally did!  The recipe share I belong to issued the theme to make something you have never made before for this month’s dinner, and I was so glad. Is there a better dessert on a cold winter night? 

It seems like what Alice Waters or Julia and James Beard would eat at the end of a meal. Not only did it make my house smell amazing (think mulled apple cider – my kids kept asking, mmm, what’s for dinner?) but the look of the fruit is like a ruby or stained glass – they are so beautiful.  Cooking them whole with the stems on made me feel like a very chic chef.  I scooped out the middle with a melon baller, though I would do this a little more carefully on my next try to get out all of the seed cavity.



Don’t they look like jewels in the beautiful red wine?

If the cinnamon and wine aren’t enough, try Cinnamon Whip Cream to go on top.  Mmm…they keep for several days, and last night I ate leftovers with blue cheese melted in the middle.  I was lucky enough to have very high quality blue cheese, and the combination might even be more decadent then the cinnamon whip cream, I’m not totally sure.  This preparation is also pretty quick – it takes about 10 min. on each side and about 10 to prep, a total time of 30 min.

Red Wine Poached Pears 

Use a fruit-forward red wine, like a California or Australian Zinfindel or Syrah/Shiraz. I used 90 Plus Shiraz and it was great, a great value at $10 and I think it was 88 pts. on Wine Spectator. 


  • 4-6 Peeled, Cored and Sliced Pears (recommend Bosc or Anjou)
  • 1 1/2 cups of red wine (recommend Zinfandel, Shiraz or Merlot)
  • 3/4 cups of granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice (can also add lemon zest if desired)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon


Combine all ingredients, except pears, and bring to a boil. Once the wine mixture is boiling, turn heat down to a simmer and add the pears. Simmer pears for 10-12 minutes and then turn pears and simmer for an additional 8-10 minutes – until they are tender and are easily poked through with a fork. Remove pears and let them cool. Boil wine sauce until the liquid has been reduced by half. Pour sauce over pears and serve with either Whipped Cream, Blue Cheese, creme fraiche, or marscapone.

Cinnamon Whip Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix all the ingredients so it looks like this:  

Then whip them with a hand mixer on high until stiff peaks form.  Chill until use. 

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