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Poached Pear Desserts

Updated on April 28, 2014

Pears Poached In Red Wine

Do you like pears? This recipe describes how to poach pears in red wine with added spices. A completely fat-free pud that isn't boring. It's not just Good Food.

It is a light and healthy dish (you don't get to imbibe much of the alcohol unfortunately) which can be enjoyed even after a very satisfying meal. No stodge here! It can be prepared easily the day before you need it and doesn't need very much effort to make it. The preparation time is very low, although it does take some time on the cooker. If you do prepare it the day before, then leave it in the liquid overnight and it will take on even more of the flavour of the wine and spices.

As a bonus, the liquid can be reduced after adding a little sugar to make a jus to serve on the pears and you won't need to use any of that fattening cream.

BONUS I have now added alternative recipes for similar desserts which poaches the pears in a coffee flavoured liquor. or poaches the pears in spiced white wine with vanilla.

Pear Facts

conference pears
conference pears

Are you a fan of pears, do you love to feel the juice trickling down your chin as you try to make sure that you get as much of the edible flesh of the pear as possible. Conference pears, comice pears, japanese pears,williams pear and bartlett pear are all common varieties of pears found in the UK, other areas will have their own list of available varieties. There are about 300 varieties grown around the world. Read more about pears in Wikipedia.

Do you like pears?

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poached pear in red wine with spices
poached pear in red wine with spices

The Recipe For Poached Pears...

......In Red Wine

To poach the pears, you need:-

Pears, I used Conference Pears but it's entirely up to you, harder pears are better for cooking.

A bottle of red wine, inexpensive plonk will do for this.

A vanilla pod

Two or three star Anise

One or Two Cinnamon sticks

Peel the pears but leave the stalk on the fruit, put them whole into a pan and then cover with the wine. If necessary add water until the fruit is completely covered.

Halve the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds, put both halves and the seeds into the wine in the pan. Put the rest of the spices into the pan.

Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 20 -30 minutes. The time will depend on the ripeness of the fruit, you should aim to start with firm but ripe fruit. It is done when the fruit is soft all the way through. You can test this with a sharp kife or a cocktail stick..

If you are making this ahead of time ( and it can be kept for two days if chilled) leave the fruit in the wine overnight. This allows the wine to permeate further into the pear. This is an interesting feature of the dish as when the pear is cut into it can be seen to be two-toned (which can be seen in the next recipe where I took a picture whilst eating it). The centre is the original white colour and the edges are coloured by the red win, the depth of penetration of the colour depends on the time that the pear has been left standing after being cooked.

It can be served in a bowl with the spices or a sprig of thyme to enhance the appearance of the dish. As an alternative, make a jus from the liquid and pour this around the pear - see below.

A printable version of the recipe can be found below.

A Look At A Similar Recipe For Poached Pears

Just in case I have missed something try this video which shows a similar recipe although he cuts up the pears. I think the whole pears just looks that much better.

Jus (syrup) made fro Spiced red wine
Jus (syrup) made fro Spiced red wine

Making The Jus....

...From Spiced The Red Wine

For this you will need:-

the spiced red wine from the poaching of the pears ( never throw anything away without trying to find a good use for it is my motto)

Approximately 225 gm of sugar, ordinary granulated sugar is fine

Add the sugar to the pan after you have removed the pears and the spices, Stir and bring back to the boil to dissolve the sugar. Then simmer to reduce the volume of the liquid to about half or until the cooled fluid is syrupy.

Use the Jus to pour around the pears as they are served.

Voila! There you have it:- Whole Pears Poached In A Spiced Red WIne Sauce. Enjoy!

poached pears in spiced red wine
poached pears in spiced red wine

A Plate Of Pears Poached In Spiced Red wine

Just thought I would take the opportunity to show you this photograph of some pears my wife has just prepared for a bonfire party tomorrow night. The pears are still hot here, you can see them steaming.

As I mentioned they can easily be prepared the day before required and in bulk as necessary. Can't wait to try these tomorrow with a helping of the Jus and a dollop of thick creme.

Note: The liquor has been reduced right down to a thick liquid, it tastes delicious.

How About An Alternative?

Pears poached in a coffee flavoured liquor

viennese pears, poached in coffee flavour liquor
viennese pears, poached in coffee flavour liquor

Viennese Pears

Pears Poached In A Coffee Flavoured Liquor

If a coffee flavouring is your thing, then why not try this alternative? With an option to add a tot of whiskey or brandy to "improve" the taste.

Again take a peeled pear(s) and cover with water. Bring this to the boil and add four heaped teaspoons of coffee and four teaspoons of sugar to each pint of water. The quantities don't really matter as it is to suit your own taste, you can adjust them the second time you make this dessert. And you will want to make it again, I am positive of that.

When boiling simmer until the pears are cooked and have taken on a lovely dark brown colour. This will again be a surface change and when you take a cut with a spoon you will see the original white colour in the center.

Remove the pear and set aside to cool. The liquor can then be reduced to your taste to create a wonderful coffee flavoured jus to complement the pear when it is served. It can also be kept in the fridge to pour over ice cream for a spiffing dessert at your next meal. Or use your imagination.

As a variation why not try adding a stick of cinnamon, a few cardoman seeds and some cloves to the saucepan whilst poaching the pears. This is the combination of spices used in making turkish coffee. Mmmmm, tasty!

A printable version of the recipe can be found below.

Or A Second Alternative?

Pears poached in a vanilla flavoured white wine

poached pear dessert vanilla and white wine
poached pear dessert vanilla and white wine

Pears Poached In White Wine

With an added vanilla flavoring

This alternative version is made in much the same way as both of the other desserts and as before you can reduce the liquor to provide a very tasty jus.

In this case I used a cider, rather than a wine, simply because it was available. The ingredients were:-

  • Conference pears or any hard pear suitable for poaching
  • White wine (or cider)
  • Cinnamon sticks 1 or two depending on taste
  • Cloves - half a dozen
  • Vanilla essence, teaspoon
  • 2 oz castor sugar

As before peel the pears and put into a saucepan, cover with the wine and add sugar, vanilla essence and spices. Bring to the boil and simmer for suffucient time to soften the pears. When cooked, they can be served hot (with cream or yoghurt) or cold (with ice cream). Extra special dessert uses the reduced liquor to flavour the dish.

A very simple but healthy, almost, dessert that will be enjoyed by all.

Let's Take A Quick Poll

Have you ever cooked poached pears or cooked them in some other way?

Have you prepared poached pears?

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poached pears served with red wine jus
poached pears served with red wine jus

Do you like pears? This recipe describes how to poach pears in red wine with added spices. A completely fat-free pud that isn't boring. It's not just Good Food. It is a light and healthy dish (you don't get to imbibe much of the alcohol unfortunately) which can be enjoyed even after a very satisfying meal.

Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: Allow one pear per person

Ingredients

  • Pears
  • hard pears such as conference pears are best for cooking
  • A bottle of red wine
  • inexpensive wine will suffice for this recipe
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 2 - 3 star anise
  • 1 - 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 225 gm sugar if making a jus
  • by reducing the liquor from the poaching

Instructions

  1. Peel the pears but leave the stalk on the fruit, put them whole into a pan and then cover with the wine. If necessary add water until the fruit is completely covered.
  2. Halve the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds, put both halves and the seeds into the wine in the pan. Put the rest of the spices into the pan.
  3. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 20 -30 minutes. The time will depend on the ripeness of the fruit, you should aim to start with firm but ripe fruit. It is done when the fruit is soft all the way through. You can test this with a sharp kife or a cocktail stick..
  4. If you are making this ahead of time ( and it can be kept for two days if chilled) leave the fruit in the wine overnight. This allows the wine to permeate further into the pear. This is an interesting feature of the dish as when the pear is cut into it can be seen to be two-toned (which can be seen in the next recipe where I took a picture whilst eating it). The centre is the original white colour and the edges are coloured by the red win, the depth of penetration of the colour depends on the time that the pear has been left standing after being cooked.
  5. It can be served in a bowl with the spices or a sprig of thyme to enhance the appearance of the dish. As an alternative, make a jus from the liquid and pour this around the pear.
  6. Making the jus:
  7. Add the sugar to the pan after you have removed the pears and the spices, Stir and bring back to the boil to dissolve the sugar. Then simmer to reduce the volume of the liquid to about half or until the cooled fluid is syrupy.
  8. Use the Jus to pour around the pears as they are served.
  9. Voila! There you have it:- Whole Pears Poached In A Spiced Red WIne Sauce. Enjoy!
Cast your vote for Poached Pears in Red Wine
viennese pears
viennese pears

Poached Pears In Coffee Flavoured Liquor - Viennese Pears

If coffee flavouring is your thing, then why not try this tasty desseert. It can be a very simple creation or improved with spices and your favourite tipple.

Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: Allow one pear per person

Ingredients

  • Pears
  • a hard variety such as conference
  • is preferable for cooking
  • Water to cover the pears
  • 4 heaped teaspoons coffee per pint of water
  • 4 heaped teaspoons sugar per pint of water
  • (plus enough for the jus if desired approx 225gm)
  • shot of whiskey / brandy if desired to add a little oomph!
  • 1 - 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 4 -5 cardommon pods
  • 5 - 7 cloves

Instructions

  1. Take a peeled pear(s) and cover with water. Bring this to the boil and add four heaped teaspoons of coffee and four teaspoons of sugar to each pint of water. The quantities don't really matter as it is to suit your own taste, you can adjust them the second time you make this dessert. And you will want to make it again, I am positive of that.
  2. When boiling simmer until the pears are cooked and have taken on a lovely dark brown colour. This will again be a surface change and when you take a cut with a spoon you will see the original white colour in the center.
  3. Remove the pear and set aside to cool. The liquor can then be reduced to your taste to create a wonderful coffee flavoured jus to complement the pear when it is served.
  4. As a variation why not try adding a stick of cinnamon, a few cardoman seeds and some cloves to the saucepan whilst poaching the pears. Or adding a shot of whiskey or brandy.

I would love to know what you think about the recipe, and if it has given you the urge to try it out. We tried this out on some dinner guests last night, they loved it. I hope that you will too.

Mouth Watering And Healthy, Is This For You? - Are You Going To Try This Recipe

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    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      I've always thought poached pear sounded luscious, but never got my nerve up to try cooking them. Thanks for this tasty looking recipe.

    • justmelucy profile image

      justmelucy 5 years ago

      I've not ever made these but have enjoyed them in the past. I might have to try the Vanilla White Wine recipe. It sound yummy.

    • John Dyhouse profile image
      Author

      John Dyhouse 5 years ago from UK

      @anonymous: Hi Tipi, If you like pears then this is a great treat. It does take a little time but the reward is fantastic.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My word, my mouth is watering. These look so good, never heard of poaching pears before. I'm going to have to share this page with my sister. She loves to try new recipes too. Thank you, John. :)

    • squidoofreak profile image

      squidoofreak 7 years ago

      so delicious... nyummy

    • TheLittleCardShop profile image

      Malu Couttolenc 7 years ago

      Love pears, delicious recipe will try it! Wonderful lens

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