This wine poached pear recipe is based on one from Ellie Krieger and is perfect for upcoming pear season. Warm pears in wine sauce—that could make me appreciate cool fall nights!
This recipe even has a bonus; it uses one glass of wine short of a bottle. A fair reward for the cook!
Adding appeal is the addition of mulling spices—cinnamon, cloves and orange peel—for a fragrant and warming dessert. Kind of like baked apples, all grown up!
Summer has been nearly perfect in Wisconsin with warm afternoons, cool nights and days of clear blue skies. Part of me wishes it could go on.
But our pear tree’s limbs are weighed down and farmer’s markets will soon have bushels and fall fruit, stashed under crimson trees.
I could be ready …
- 2 cups dry red wine, such as cabernet or merlot
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 orange, juiced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 (1 by 3-inch) strip orange zest
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 4 firm, ripe pears
- In a 4-quart saucepan, combine wine, sugar, orange juice, zest, cinnamon stick and cloves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- While liquid is simmering, peel pears carefully, leaving stem intact. Slice 1/2-inch off the bottom of the pears to create a flat bottom. (Alternatively, peel and halve pears, cutting out seeds with a melon baller).
- Gently place pears in poaching liquid, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes to ensure even color, until pears are cooked but still firm. Remove saucepan from flame, uncover and cool. Cover and chill in refrigerator at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours, turning pears occasionally, if desired.
- Before serving, gently remove pears from liquid. Reduce liquid by about half over a medium-high flame, until liquid is thicker and slightly syrupy (about 15 minutes). Add pears back to pan and heat until warm. Place each pear in a serving dish. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons syrup and serve.
- Can also be served room temperature, though we preferred them warm. The pears can be a challenge to carve up as you eat them, so next time I may halve and deseed them before poaching.
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