Poached Pears in Red Wine & Spices
You can serve the poached pears in red wine just like that, preferably lukewarm. I also like to add a spoonful of whipped cream or mascarpone if I got any, finished with some crumbled (almond) cookies. The poaching liquid can also be used: add a couple of tablespoons of the wine mixture to a small saucepan and let it reduce a little until you got a strong ‘sauce’. Drizzle that on top of the pears and mascarpone… yum!
I once made tea poached pears, also a great recipe and a good non-alcohol alternative: just scroll down to the second recipe here on this page to find that one! If you are really looking for that bright red color but you don’t want to add wine, substitute it by cranberry juice or any kind of fruit juice that is strong enough to color those pears.
Need another pear dessert idea? Then try out my quick and easy French pear clafoutis with saffron!
- 2 pears
- 1 cup (240 ml) red wine
- ½ cup (120 ml) apple juice or water
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 star anise
- 2 oz (55 g) caster sugar
- Pour the red wine and apple juice (or water) in a large saucepan. Then add the star anise and vanilla bean.
- Place the pan over medium heat until boiling lightly. Pour in the caster sugar. Stir a little.
- Don’t let the wine boil heavily but keep it to a light simmer to make the sugar dissolve. While the wine is warming up, peel the pears and add them to the pan.
- Put a lid on the pan and let the pears simmer and poach for 30 minutes until soft. Turn them regularly to make sure both sides get the right red color.
- In the end turn off the heat and then let the pears soak in the warm wine for another 30 minutes until cooled a little. Serve the poached pears in red wine lukewarm.
Poached Pears in Spiced Tea
Best thing to do before preparing poached pears is to choose a pear that will keep its shape entirely while cooking or boiling or you risk ending up with a pan of pear soup or mushy pear sauce. That’s why I like using Conférence pears and I’m lucky because this species is pretty easy to find in Europe, throughout the year even so I don’t have to wait until autumn to prepare some pear desserts.You’d be surprised to see how easy it is to poach pears. That is if the pear you are using is very ripe. Be careful while peeling it. The juicy pear will slip easily through your fingers like a piece of soap. Once you got the whole lot shoved into the saucepan it will only need a handful of minutes to cool. I used a spiced tea called Winterdream I recently purchased in Austria: “rooibos with a note of fruit and spice” the wrapper says. But go ahead and add the kind of tea you like best.
I think that I got a winner autumn and winter dessert right here. Will look great on my Christmas menu this year! And oh, before I forget: a scoop of vanilla ice cream in that warm pear soup would just be the icing on the cake…
Love pear desserts? Then also check out my pear clafoutis!
- 1 large ripe Conférence pear
- 3,5 oz (100 g) caster sugar
- 1 tea bag of your choice
- 2 cups (480 ml) water
- 2 tbsp white wine (optional)
- ½ small lemon, sliced roughly
- ½ vanilla bean
- 2 star anise
- 2 cloves
- Carefully peel the ripe pear entirely but leave the stem on (looks better for presentation later on). Then slice the peeled pear in half lengthwise - since you only got one stem here, leave one half with and one half without stem. Then core both pieces.
- Choose a large saucepan in which the pears will fit perfectly. Add to this pan the vanilla bean, the star anise, the cloves, the sliced lemon and the tea bag.
- Add the slices pears (cut side up) and pour in the water and the white wine (optional) until the pears are fully submerged.
- Then pour in the caster sugar.
- Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring the pears and sugar water to a good boil. Once boiling, turn the heat low, cover the pan and simmer the pears for another 5 to 7 minutes until soft and cooked through.
- Carefully remove the poached pear halves and transfer them onto deep plates. Drizzle with some of the spiced sugar water (or you can boil this sauce for a little longer until it has reduced and becomes a little syrupy). Then serve the poached pears in red wine warm to lukewarm.