Updated on September 27, 2018
Poached pears is an easy and exquisite French dessert. This is no bake dessert, spicy poached pears in red wine. To my mind, this is one of the most beautiful pear desserts – soft fruit with spicy winter flavors.
Best served as it is, but may be with ice cream or yogurt on the side.
No fail pear desserts
What I loved about making this dessert the most, is that there is no pastry, no extra calories and no baking needed. Almost no fail dessert! The worst thing you can make to this dessert is overcooking the pears. In this case fruits will become too soft and may break on the plate. However, you can always serve the pears halved, with an ice cream on top.
One important thing you need to know before making this dessert, is that you need to take time carefully peeling the pears to make this dessert look stunning. I used my vegetable peeler for this.
Cooking the pears & beautiful color
I used Conference pears for this recipe, but you can use Bosc or Anjous. After cooking the pears leave them in the same liquid with spices to rest for about two hours, or better overnight in the fridge. The more time the poached pears will spend in the wine, the more vibrant color they will have. Make sure, that the wine covers the pears, when cooking, and rotate the fruits from time to time. Moreover, cook the pears on low, so that flavors develop and intensify slowly.
To check, if the pears are ready, gently stab with the knife in the bottom of each pear. If they are soft, remove the pan from the stove. Remember, that the pears will continue cooking in the hot wine, but don’t drain them!
Spices for poached pears
The main spices I used for this pear dessert are cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. I added 1 pyramid bag of high quality Spiced Chai tea. Chai tea is black tea with cardamom, cinnamon, ginger. You can also add vanilla to your taste for this pear recipe. Moreover, I added the zest of 1/2 orange to boost the flavor.
Like vegan recipes? Check our amazing vegan avocado cake recipe!
Which wine to use for the poached pears
This is a great recipe, if you have leftover red wine after holidays. You can also use the wine that you bought, but it was not good for your taste – spices will transform it to the mulled wine. I recommend using cheap red fruity wine for this recipe, and leave the costly for the drinking. Moreover, you can use, for example, Ruby Port or Pinot Noir. The wine will deliver rich and a little bit tannin flavor, perfectly paired with the sweetness of the pears and spices.
If you want to make this dessert kids-friendly, you can use non-alcoholic red wine or red grape juice instead.
Serving poached pears with sauce
If you want to make syrup from the wine, where the pears were poached, you need to double the amount of the sugar in recipe. After removing the pears from the wine, simmer it until the liquid evaporates, reduced in half. However, I didn’t make the syrup and served poached pears with a few tablespoons of mulled wine.
To my mind, these poached pears are best served warm, especially in the winter season. You can reheat the pears in the same pot with spiced wine.
Poached pears - Pear desserts
- 1 bottle red wine
- 3 pears
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 1 pyramid spicy chai tea
- 113 g sugar /4 oz / 1.2 cup
- 1/2 orange
- Put the wine and sugar in the pot, bring to the boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
- Meanwhile gently peel the pears, moving from top to the bottom, leaving the stem.
- Add pears, tea pyramid, orange zest and spices in the pot with wine. Lower the heat. Simmer 20-30 minutes until pears are cooked. Make sure the pears are covered with wine, rotate them from time to time.
- Leave the pears in the same liquid for at least 2 hours or overnight in the fridge.
- Cut the bottom of each pear so it seats straight on the plate with the stem, looking on top.
- Sieve the wine sauce.
Add more sugar and cook until it reduces in half (if you want syrupy consistence).
- Serve one pear per person, pour few tablespoons of wine sauce on top the pear.