poached pears in red wine sauce
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Poached Pears in Red Wine

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Poached Pears in Red Wine are a simple and beautiful dessert consisting of a poached pear soaked in a sweet red wine sauce.

The absolute elegance of this dessert stops me in my tracks. It is hard to cut into something so beautifully presented. If it wasn’t for the fact that I know these are just as delicious as they are lovely. I might keep myself from slicing it open.

It is hard to explain the taste of the rich wine sauce that somehow is soaked within this pear and a part of every bite. Completely enjoyable as it is or enhanced even further with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream. The bold wine sauce creates a delicious pairing that blends well with the creaminess of the French vanilla.

It is a dessert that many might stray away from with the poaching element. The look of it seems complicated. Maybe even a bit pretentious at first glance. Yet it is anything but. This dish has a rustic elegance about it. Wine-soaked fruit with spices.

For years now, these have somehow caught my eye during Christmas time. To set these out after a lovely meal. The flavors are so rich and bold but somehow light enough to complement a heavy meal. It is a Christmas-time treat. One that feels elegant and thereby special.

What I Love About Poached Pears In Red Wine

This is hands down one of the more impressive desserts you will find on this blog. And for me, this rings true in real life as well. Anytime I make these and set them in front of anyone. The initial reaction is the same. Admiration for the beautiful plating of course but they are curious as to what this beautiful item is. It is colorful, elegant and has a wow factor that no cake I have ever made can come close too. It is also nice that you can get such a reaction from so little work. Creating a delicious experience for your dinner guests.

What You’ll Need To Make Poached Pears In Red Wine

4-5 pears (I like to use Bosc if I can find them but Bartletts or Anjou work fine too)

2 cups of cabernet sauvignon or your favorite red wine (merlot, zinfandel, shiraz)

1/2 cup of raw honey

1 tbs of good quality vanilla

1 tsp of cinnamon

1 bay leaf

Directions

In a small pot, add all the ingredients except the pears and begin heating until it comes to a low boil. While you wait, peel the skin from the pears leaving the stems on. Take a whisk and make sure all ingredients are incorporated before adding the pears.

Once added, turn the heat to a low simmer and cover. Stir them around every few minutes to make sure they cook evenly. They should simmer for around 20 minutes or until tender and are deep red. Let them cool completely in the pan.

slicing the bottom of the poached pear

Once cooled, place the entire pan in the fridge to chill. Serve them chilled with the sauce poured over them. For presentation, I like to cut the very bottom off so that the pear lays flat on the plate. They are perfectly delicious by themselves but you can always add some vanilla ice cream or some whipped cream if you like.

poached pear in red wine placed in a white bowl
poached pears in red wine sauce

Tips For Poached Pears in Red Wine

  • This dessert though simple has a few things that are important when making.
  • First, be sure to leave the stems intact. Don’t touch the stems too much otherwise, they will come off.
  • My favorite way to plate these is to cut a small piece off the bottom where the core shows to make sure that the pear sits up flat in the bowl. I have forgotten to do this one and the pear won’t sit right if not done.
  • Use a wine you like. Not a cheap blend you wouldn’t actually drink.
  • I like using a cabernet for these but you can use zinfandel, merlot, or even a shiraz if that’s what you like to drink.
  • I use Bosc pears as they work wonderfully for poaching. But you can also use Bartlett or Anjou pears as well.

Elegant Meals to Pair with Poached Pears in Red Wine

If you are wanting to make these for your next gathering or dinner party but don’t know what would go well serving as the main course. Might I save you the stress and share with you some great options?

  • The time of year which you make these will definitely need to be considered. Now if making these Poached Pears in Red Wine during the winters months. Serving a nice Beef Bourguignon, a hearty French stew, as the main course works extraordinarily well. The lightness of the Poached Pears in Red Wine creates a nice light dessert after a heavy meal. Not to mention, you have just given your dinner party a French theme. Making the evening more fun.
  • If during the summertime you plan on treating your guest to these lovely pears. Might I suggest a Grilled Spatchcock Chicken served alongside a Simple Tomato Confit and a rustic loaf of Artisan Bread? This pairing is perfect for gathering as much of the work as you can do ahead of time. The Poached Pears in Wine Sauce served with ice cream is a beautiful way to end the meal on a warm summer day.

Origins of Poached Pears in Red Wine

The Poire à la Beaujolais or pear in wine is a traditional dessert of the wine-growing Beaujolais region of France. Territories like Burgundy and Lyon would use this method to consume fruits that were not ripening to their liking. This method has since spread all over France and grown immensely in popularity all over the world.

The basic concept is that the pears are gently poached on the stovetop. Done typically with a syrup made from wine, sugar, or honey, and spices. The methods for poaching pears can differ greatly however the same concept of slow cooking to preserve their form while sealing in the rich flavors is universal.

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poached pears in red wine sauce

Poached Pears in Red Wine

Yield: 5 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

a delicious sweet wine infused pear best served with ice cream or alone as a dessert

Ingredients

  • 5 Pears (I like to use Bosc if I can find them but Bartletts work fine too)
  • 2 cups of cabernet sauvignon or your favorite red wine (merlot, zinfandel or shiraz work well)
  • 1/2 cup of raw honey
  • 1 tbs of good quality vanilla
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf

Instructions

    1. In a small pot, add all the ingredients except the pears and begin heating until it comes to a low boil.
    2. While you wait, peel the skin from the pears leaving the stems on.
    3. Take a whisk and make sure all ingredients are incorporated before adding the pears.
    4. Once added, turn the heat to a low simmer and cover. Stir them around every few minutes to make sure they cook evenly.
    5. They should simmer for around 20 minutes or until tender and are deep red in color. Let them cool completely in the pan.
    6. Once cooled, place the entire pan in the fridge to chill.
    7. Serve them chilled with the sauce poured over them.
    8. They are perfectly delicious by themselves but you can always add some vanilla ice cream or some whipped cream if you like.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 307Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 5mgCarbohydrates: 59gFiber: 6gSugar: 46gProtein: 1g

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