Poached Pears in Red Wine

Poached pears in red wine
Carlo A/Moment/Getty Images
  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
286 Calories
0g Fat
63g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 286
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 6mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 63g 23%
Dietary Fiber 8g 29%
Protein 1g
Calcium 36mg 3%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Poached pears in wine (or Poire à la Beaujolais) is a classic French dessert that originated in the wine-growing territories of Burgundy and Lyon. The French used it as a way to consume fruits that were not ripening to their liking on the tree. By combining peeled pears with wine and a bouquet of spices, the people of the region were able to maximize their harvest while creating a dish that highlights the fruit's natural sweetness.

This poached pears recipe offers a warming dessert option for a cold winter night or an elegant brunch dish for a family get-together. Select a fruit-forward red wine for this dish and pair it with your favorite spiced tea, serve it next to a dollop of vanilla ice cream, or top with homemade whipped cream. The presentation lends a translucent look to the fruit, infused with red undertones. It's a decadent dessert that will impress your guests and won't overpower the dinner spread.  

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon (juiced and zested, divided)
  • 4 to 6 pears (Bosc or Anjou, peeled and cored)
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine (Zinfandel, Shiraz, or Merlot work best)
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • For serving: Vanilla ice cream, mascarpone cheese, or crème​ fraiche
  • For garnish: Fresh mint leaves or dark chocolate shavings

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Fill a bowl with cold water and add the lemon juice, reserving 2 tablespoons. Peel and core each pear and place them in the bowl of lemon water to rest.

  3. Combine the red wine, sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan that is big enough to house the pears and bring to a boil.

  4. Turn the heat down to reach a low simmer. Add the pears.

  5. Simmer the pears for 10 to 12 minutes on one side. Rotate the pears and continue to poach them for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are tender and are easily poked through with a fork.

  6. Remove pears from the pan and cool them on a cooling rack or old, clean towel.

  7. Bring the wine sauce back up to a rolling simmer and cook until the liquid has been reduced by half.

  8. To serve, place one pear into a shallow bowl. Pour a stream of sauce over the fruit. Place one scoop of ice cream, mascarpone cheese, or crème fraiche next to the pear (if using).

  9. Garnish with fresh mint leaves or dark chocolate shavings. Serve and enjoy.

Recipe Variations

For a twist on this elegant French dessert try this classic poached pears in white wine recipe or chocolate-dipped Poires Belle Helene—a dish created in the 19th century by French chef Auguste Escoffier and named after an opera.

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