If you’re looking for an easy dessert that tastes delicious and looks beautiful, I’ve got one for you: Poached Pears in Wine. It couldn’t be easier.
A little discussion, first. You can poach a pear in red wine or white wine. I like to use a sweeter wine–either a white moscato or, if red, a late harvest zinfandel. In that case, I use very little sugar. Most recipes call for a cup and a half of sugar. No way. It’s just not necessary, especially if you use a sweeter wine. If your wine is drier, the sugar will make the dish sweeter, if that’s what you like. It really is up to you.
When I made them for company recently, I used cinnamon and cloves. The outcome tasted like autumn and in fact, it’s a great autumn dessert. But, it was August, we had these lovely organic pears and I wanted to use them. So here’s how I made poached pears the other day.
Pears Poached in Red Wine
1 bottle red wine. I used a Castoro Cellars late harvest red zinfandel, but it was a small bottle, so I added some cab I had on hand.
4 ripe or just under-ripe pears, peeled. I don’t core them but you can. I don’t halve them, either, but you can.
1/2 cup sugar 0r less
Two cinnamon sticks
You can add a few coriander seeds or another spice you like. My friend, Barbara, adds cardamom.
Combine all ingredients in a pan with the pears standing up. Simmer for about until pears are tender. My pears were pretty ripe so I only simmered about 15 minutes. Usually, it’ll take about 30 or so for an underripe pear. I baste the pears or roll them in the liquid as they simmer, so make sure the pan is large enough to do that.
Let pears cool in the poaching liquid, then plate with some of the liquid
Serve pears with a chocolate or vanilla gelato, a square of chocolate or drizzle honey over them.
Delicious! Serves four.