A wonderful deep red colour, poached pears make a delicious looking, and tasting, dessert.
They are very simple to make. Simply poach the pears in red wine with some added spices. The pears are then removed, and the cooking juices are boiled further to create a delicious thick sweet red juice to accompany the pear halves.
Accompany with whipped cream or ice cream.
Watch How To Make Poached Pears
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Poaching pears in wine is a delicious way to enjoy the fruit. The pears are wonderfully soft and absorb the flavour of the cooking juices.
Start by pouring wine into a small saucepan just big enough to hold the pear halves. A small pan means less wine is needed to cover the fruit.
Now add the spices and flavourings. I used a liberal drizzle of honey, a handful of fresh cranberries (frozen or dried would also work), a cinnamon stick, and a few cloves. Give the mixture a good stir.
Ideally, choose pears that are ripe but still firm. They need to be peeled and cut in half, with the core removed – a small teaspoon is good for this job.
Add the pears to the saucepan, give the mixture another good stir and place on the hob set on a medium heat. Watch over the pan, stirring occasionally, until the wine begins to boil. At this point reduce to a low heat to keep a gentle simmer, and cover with a lid.
The pear halves need to cook for around 40 minutes. Carefully turn the pears half way through the cooking time. At the end of cooking check the softness of the pears. A cocktail stick should be able to enter freely into the flesh without needing to push hard.
The pear halves will have absorbed the wine and have turned a gorgeous deep red colour. These should now be removed from the sauce and set aside. The cinnamon stick is removed too.
The cranberries will have started to fall apart, but help them along the way by crushing the fruit with a wooden spoon.
The wine mixture is returned to the hob to boil vigorously to reduce the mixture to a thick sauce. Keep stirring throughout the process. After about 5 minutes it should be ready to serve.
The sauce can be ladled around the pear halves as decoration. Poached pears can be enjoyed warm or cold, and stored in the fridge.
When serving, a spoonful of whipped cream or ice cream makes a welcome finishing touch.