Pears soaked and bathed in wine, juice and spices transform themselves into luscious jewels. A very elegant dessert indeed!
Making a dessert cannot get easier than this. A few pears in one hand thrown in & slowly simmered in some wine and spices and you turn them into to treasures, you have the most beautiful looking thing; vibrant in jewel tones, sweet, spicy, buttery melt in the mouth kind. Poaching the pears brings out the natural sweetness, the wine paints the fruit and the spices adds a good burst of flavors. This dessert can also be made ahead of time. So what are we waiting for?
Wine Poached Pear
- 2 Ripe but Firm Bosc or Barlett pears
- 1.5 Cup Red Wine (Pinot Noir , Shiraz or Zinfandel will do)
- 1/2 Cup Orange Juice (Freshly Squeezed or Store Bought)
- 1/2 cup Sugar (may be substituted with Honey or Nectar – adjust quantity as you will need less honey/nectar than sugar)
- 1 Tablespoon Grated Orange Rind
- 2 Whole Cloves
- 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1 Finger Length Cinnamon Stick
- 1/2 Teaspoon Grated Ginger
- Few Whole Peppercorns (Optional)
Note: If you are not going to use wine, try using cranberry juice or red grape juice (As suggested by a reader) to poach the pears. You might need to adjust the amount of sugar/honey as per the sweetness of the juice.
Peel the Pears keeping the stems intact. Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each pear (to make them stand). Set them aside.
In a deep non reactive pot, combine the wine and sugar & bring to a boil. Add the orange rind and orange juice, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and peppercorns. Simmer the liquid at low heat for about 7-10 minutes.
Add the pears to the liquid on their sides and keep the heat at medium to low to keep the liquid at a slow simmer.
Cook the pears in the liquid with the pot partly covered, for 30 – 40 minutes. (The pears will turn soft quicker if they were not firm). Turn the pears frequently to make sure the pears absorbs the color from the wine evenly on all sides.
Test to see if the pears are done by a knife end or skewer. (When done they should be tender but not mushy and falling apart).
The above steps may be made a couple of days in advance. Cool the liquid & the pears and transfer it to a container. Make sure the poaching liquid covers the pears; if it doesn’t you would have to turn the fruits around a few time to have an even color. Refrigerate for up to 2 days.
When ready to serve, remove the pears. Strain the liquid & bring the liquid to a boil & continue simmering till the liquid gets thick & slightly syrupy. (Syrupy consistency is achieved when the syrup coats the back of a spoon.)
Transfer the pears to a serving dish and pour the thickened liquid over the pear.
If you want to serve it warm, gently re heat the pear along with the syrup. Or serve it chilled with the chilled syrup.
Another way to serve: Slice the whole pears carefully & fan in out. Pour the syrup over the pears & serve with cream or mascarpone cheese. Garnish with nuts & fresh mint.
Mmmmmm. This was just fabulous. We had ours with some lightly toasted nuts & cream. Can’t wait to make some more. I love the poached pear a lot, especially when expecting guests – friends are happy with some gourmet dessert & I can make it a couple of days ahead and let the fruit soak themselves in the wine bath for a even fuller taste.
Enjoy the lovely lovey fruits & season of the Fall! Surprise & charm your family and friends with this classic, decadent dessert.
Serve the pears with:
- Ice Cream
- Whipped Cream
- Creme Fraiche
- Mascarpone Cheese (my favorite)
- Cream or Cheese combined with crushed nuts
- Blue Cheese
- Lightly Toasted Nuts
Sending this dessert to Mansi’s Sweet Celebration.