Poached Pears in Red Wine

I somehow got it in my head that I must make poached pears in red wine for dessert for the traditional Sunday lunch I had planned for Mother’s Day.

I went all out and made roast lamb with garlic and fresh rosemary (incidentally, my first ever attempt at a lamb roast), sweet cinnamon butternut, roast potatoes, rice, and broccoli with cheese sauce. Apparently the roast was delicious, the carnivores were well-pleased with it! The poached pears were, however, the pièce de résistance!

Making poached pears is surprisingly easier than I thought it would be. I read a few recipes online, but they either had too many ingredients, looked too fussy to make or they used ingredients that I’m not overly fond of. I decided that less is more and went with my own take on the general gist of recipes I read, as I often do.

Pears Poached in Red Wine

  • Servings: 6
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6 Pears (firm, not ripe)
2 Sticks cinnamon or cassis
3 Cardamom pods
1 Star anise
600ml Red wine
600ml Water
1.5 Cups brown sugar
1 Tsp vanilla essence


  1. Bring the wine and water to a boil in a medium pot.
  2. Add the sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla and star anise.
  3. Stir lightly to dissolve the sugar.
  4. Peel the pears with a vegetable peeler and add to the pot.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 – 30 minutes.
  6. Cook until the pears are soft and you can stick a toothpick through.
  7. Remove pears and wine from heat, transfer to a glass dish and store in the fridge overnight once cooled (plastic may stain).
  8. Gently turn pears over in the syrup the following morning to stain the side that was exposed overnight.
  9. To make a syrup for serving, take a cup of the sweet wine liquid and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10min to reduce it by half.
  10. Remove the syrup from the heat and set aside for serving.
  11. Serve with double cream greek yoghurt and a drizzle of the syrup.

Chef’s notes

  • You can serve with marscapone or whipped cream instead of yoghurt.
  • Make pears the day before you intend eating them, because they need to steep in the mulled sweet wine over night to draw good colour.


Header image source.


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