With the holiday season approaching, these Red Wine Poached Pears make an impressive dessert. No one needs to know how easy it is to make! Make ahead & serve after dinner.
It’s already the end of October! I have a lot on my mind recently. Exciting things are happening, but it can be a bit stressful at the same time. Very soon, things will come together. In the meantime, cooking and blogging keeps me busy and focus.
We recently got a few bottles of red wine. With all the wines we originally have, we can’t drink them all. Why not make poached pears? It really was a great decision.
Wine, cinnamon, spices, and sugar. The pears were poached in that flavorful liquid until beautiful red on the outside. Set the pears aside and continue to reduce the red wine to a syrup. Coat the pears with some syrup. Keep everything in the fridge to chill. Serve cold with more syrup and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It’s visually stunning dessert, and it’s sweet with warm flavors. That’s so fitting for fall & the holiday season!
Red Wine Poached Pears
- 1 bottle dry red wine (like Cabernet Sauvignon & Pinot Noir)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 pieces orange peel (each is about 1 x 2-inch long)
- 2 Ceylon cinnamon sticks
- 8 whole cloves
- Pinch of salt
- 4 – 5 firm and ripe bosc pears
- Vanilla ice cream (for serving)
- Choose a pot that is just large enough to hold all the pears. Do not add any pear at this point. Add wine, sugar, orange peel, cinnamon, cloves & salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
- Peel the pears, leaving the stems intact. Trim the bottom of the pears slightly, so they can sit up straight on their own. Add the pears to the wine. Cook over medium-low heat until the pears are just tender, about 20 – 35 minutes, rotating the pears every 5 minutes for even poaching. To check if the pears are ready, pierce the bottom of a pear with a toothpick. It should meet little resistance, as it will continue to cook off the heat. Transfer the pears to a large casserole dish (with them sitting up). Set aside.
- Remove all the spices and orange peel from the wine. Turn up the heat to medium-high. Reduce to about 1½ – 2 cups, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Spoon a couple tablespoons syrup to coat each pear. Transfer the casserole dish with the pears to the fridge and chill uncover for at least 2 hours. Keep the leftover syrup in the fridge to chill as well.
- When ready to serve, transfer the pears to serving plates. Drizzle a little more syrup over the pears. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- When picking a wine, make sure to use one that you would drink. I usually pick something around $8 – $15 depending on my mood.
- There are two main categories of cinnamon out there, cassia cinnamon and Ceylon. Most cinnamon you see is cassia cinnamon. It has a stronger flavor than Ceylon. I prefer Ceylon for a sweeter & milder flavor in this recipe. When buying cinnamon sticks, just make sure to read the label carefully.
- How to pick Bosc pear: Press a finger gently into the top of the pear just where the stem joins the fruit. If it just starts to give there, the fruit is ripe. But it is important to remember that Bosc pears will give slightly less than other pear varieties when ripe. If the pears are not ripe, store at room temperature for 2 – 4 days. Once ripen, store in the fridge.
- Don’t use unripe pears. They don’t get soften when cooking. Don’t use overripe pears either. They get soften too fast while cooking, which don’t give enough time to absorb the flavors. The best way to get the perfect pears is to buy unripe pears and let them sit at counter for a couple days until just ripen.
- Leftover syrup can be stored in an air-tight container for a week. It is great for ice cream, panna cotta, pancakes, roasted vegetables, or even salad dressing.