Poached Pears in Red Wine

Poached Pears in Red Wine

The Spruce / Tara Omidvar

  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
324 Calories
2g Fat
71g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 324
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 8mg 3%
Sodium 13mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 71g 26%
Dietary Fiber 9g 34%
Total Sugars 50g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 79mg 395%
Calcium 69mg 5%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 515mg 11%
*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 such as zinfandel, shiraz, or merlot, and serve it next to a dollop of vanilla ice cream or top with homemade whipped cream. The translucent, red-tinted pears make for an elegant dessert that will impress your guests and won't overpower the dinner spread.  

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon (juiced and zested)

  • 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

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Poached Pears in Red Wine ingredients

    The Spruce / Tara Omidvar

  2. Fill a bowl with cold water and add all but 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice.

    bowel with water and lemon juice

    The Spruce / Tara Omidvar

  3. Peel and core each pear.

    peel and core the pears

    The Spruce / Tara Omidvar

  4. Place them in the bowl of lemon water to rest.

    pears in lemon water

    The Spruce / Tara Omidvar

  5. Combine the red wine, sugar, reserved 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, the lemon zest, vanilla extract, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan that is big enough to hold the pears.

    red wine, sugar, reserved 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, the lemon zest, vanilla extract, and cinnamon in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Tara Omidvar

  6. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to reach a low simmer. Add the pears and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes on one side.

    add pears to poaching liquid in the pot

    The Spruce / Tara Omidvar

  7. 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.

    pears poaching in the poaching liquid

    The Spruce / Tara Omidvar

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

    pears on a metal draining rack

    The Spruce / Tara Omidvar

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

    poaching liquid cooking in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Tara Omidvar

  10. To serve, place one pear into a shallow bowl. Pour a stream of sauce over the fruit.

    poached pear on a plate

    The Spruce / Tara Omidvar

  11. Place one scoop of ice cream, mascarpone cheese, or crème fraiche next to the pear (if using). Serve and enjoy.

    Poached Pears in Red Wine on a plate with ice cream

    The Spruce / Tara Omidvar

Recipe Variations

For a twist on this elegant French dessert, try a 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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