Spiced Wine Poached Pears

  Photographer: Orphee Okito

These spiced pears are poached in what you would think of a a mulled wine. Red Wine Poached Pears are a classic French dessert. It’s such a simple dessert, yet delightfully flavorful and very elegant and impressive. They have a great balance of sweet, spice and fruity flavors, and the deep red color turns this into a beautiful centerpiece dessert too. The French used it as a way to consume fruits that were not ripening to their liking on the tree; this way the fruit would not go to waste. By combining peeled pears with wine and a bouquet of spices, the people of the region were able to maximize their harvest while creating a dish that highlights the fruit's natural sweetness. 

1 bottle red wine (750 ml)
1 cinnamon stick 2 star anise
3/4 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean
5-6 pears
1/2 tsp clove

Poached Pears Instructions:

  1. For the poached pears peel off the skin. Then slice 1/2 inch off the bottom of the pears to create a flat bottom.
  2. In a medium sauce pan combine 1 bottle of wine (750 ml) into a pot. Add 3/4 cup sugar. 1 cinnamon stick. 2 star anise. 1 vanilla bean.
  3. Place peeled pears in the wine sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-35 minutes. Turn the pears every 5 minutes to ensure even color until pears are cooked, but still firm. 
  4. Cool to room temperature. Cover and chill overnight in reduction to get the perfect color.
       **Notes: Once you remove the pears you can simmer the wine sauce until you get a syrupy texture. Then drizzle over pears. Best served with vanilla bean ice cream.