|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 131g||47%|
|Dietary Fiber 6g||21%|
|Total Sugars 118g|
|Vitamin C 8mg||42%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Poached pears in white wine sauce is a classic French dessert that's easy to make and delicious to eat. The mainstay in the recipe, which varies in the sauce ingredients and type of pears, is the use of good quality wine. If you can drink it by the glass, you can cook with it, and a nice wine will impart a better flavor to the fruit. For this recipe, opt for sweeter wines like a Chardonnay, Moscato, or Riesling. If choosing a dry white wine, the flavor will change from very sweet to dry but the fruit will retain its natural sweetness.
Pears are one of the best fruits to poach because the flesh stays firm and their shape is still recognizable after poaching. With so many pear varieties available, try different kinds of this sweet fruit to achieve diverse textures and flavors. While you can use nearly any pear variety, some are better choices for poaching: always go for sweet and firm pears like Bosc, Anjou, Concorde, or French butter pears and avoid softer pears like ripe Bartlett or Comice.
To serve your pears, choose a bit of crème patisserie or crème fraîche, as the cream perfectly accents the spiced wine syrup and sweetness of the pears. Mascarpone or vanilla ice cream are also great additions. If you'd like to try a fancier presentation, poires belle Helene is a beautiful and delicious choice.
"I love poached pears, but poaching them in a white wine-simple syrup makes them even more special. They don't need much more that to be served in a small, pretty bowl with some of the lovely vanilla-flavored wine sauce." —Diana Andrews
4 medium firm pears, preferably with stems
2 cups white wine
3 1/2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean, or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups granulated sugar
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Peel the pears, making sure to keep the stems intact. Shave a thin slice from the bottom of the pears so they will stand up in the pan and when serving.
In a large, deep saucepan, stir together the white wine, water, cinnamon, vanilla bean, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Lower the heat to medium-low. Add the pears, standing them upright in the pan. The liquid should cover most of the pears' height.
Poach the pears, uncovered, until slightly tender but still firm enough to hold their shape, about 10 minutes. Watch this process carefully as you do not want the pears to overcook or they will collapse.
Remove the pears from the poaching liquor with a slotted spoon and place them on individual serving plates or small shallow bowls.
Return the poaching liquid to a simmer over medium heat. Add the sugar and allow the mixture to reduce in volume by half, about 6 to 8 minutes. The syrup is ready when it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Remove the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean from the syrup and strain the liquid through a fine sieve.
Drizzle each pear with the wine syrup and add any other topping that you'd like.
Other Tasty Ways to Eat Poached Pears
Although these pears are a great finale for a savory meal, there are other ways to enjoy this preparation:
- Salads: Slice the poached pears and toss them with mixed greens and balsamic vinegar. Top with crushed walnuts or pistachios and dollops of goat's cheese.
- Side: Serve slices of pears with turkey, pork, or game. The pears make a great contrast to the savory meats. Alternatively, you can process the pears with some of the poaching liquid and reduce the resulting sauce until it has a thicker and saucier texture. Serve this sauce with your roasts and chops.
- Sandwiches and wraps: Use the pears as sandwich fillings and pair them with strong and bold cheeses like Blue, Brie, Camembert, Manchego, or Gouda. Alternate slices of cheese and pears and top the sandwich with arugula or sauteed baby kale.
- Bread: Add cubes of poached pears to your favorite banana bread recipe.