Poached Pears in Red Wine

Poached pears in red wine
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Ratings (16)
  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
286 Calories
0g Fat
63g Carbs
1g Protein
(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 in red wine recipe offer 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 ensemble. And pair it with your favorite spiced tea or serve it next to a dollop of artisanal vanilla ice cream topped 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

  • 4 to 6 Bosc or Anjou pears, peeled and cored
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine (Zinfandel, Shiraz, or Merlot work best)
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Vanilla ice cream, mascarpone cheese, or crème​ fraiche
  • Fresh mint leaves or dark chocolate shavings

Steps to Make It

Prepping the Pears

  1. Fill a bowl with water and add the lemon juice, reserving 2 tablespoons. Peel and core the pears (with an apple corer); place them in the bowl of water to rest.

Poaching the Pears

  1. Combine the red wine, sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, zest, vanilla extract, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan (big enough to house the pears) and bring to a boil.

  2. Turn the heat down to achieve a low simmer. Add the pears.

  3. 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.

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

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

Assembling the Dessert

  1. Place one pear into a shallow bowl.

  2. Pour a stream of sauce over pear.

  3. Place one scoop of ice cream, mascarpone cheese, or crème fraiche next to the pear. Garnish with fresh mint leaves or dark chocolate shavings.

  4. Serve and enjoy.

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.