Try to find small pears, preferably only 2 1/2 to 3 inches tall, with the stems intact. I have found these smaller-sized pears are easier to poach, and I prefer the presentation.
Make sure to cut a little off the bottom of the pear, so they stand up nice and tall. Peel them.
In a deep saute pan or pot, combine the wine, citrus, spices and… a couple slices of red beets to boost the color. This is the secret ingredient that will give the pears their deep rich red color. Bring to a boil.
Stir well and add the beets, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, gently stirring every few minutes, to evenly coat them in color, until just tender.
Tip: Play around with using different spices and flavorings, like star anise, pink peppercorns, juniper berry, or ginger. Remember to always taste your poaching liquid, for balance, sweetness and flavor. Adjust if necessary. If the poaching liquid doesn’t taste good, your pears won’t either.
Pears are done cooking when easily pierced with the tip of a knife. The best place to do this is on the bottom where the cut will not show. Transfer them to individual plates.
Strain the wine and place in a smaller pot or sauté pan and reduce by two-thirds, until thickened and syrupy.
Spoon over the pears allowing it to puddle at the bottom and garnish with the pomegranate seeds.
Read the Best way to cut a Pomegranate, if you like!
I like serving this with a dollop of cardamon cream on the side ( see recipe below).
Enjoy the poached pairs and have fun with this one!
- 4–6 ripe pears, peeled, with stem left on.
- 1/2 bottle red wine
- 1 orange
- 3/4 cup sugar, brown sugar or maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 tsp ground cardamom or 5 crushed cardamon pods
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 slices fresh red beet (for extra vibrant color- optional)
- Garnish 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
Cardamom Whipped Cream (optional)
- Peel the pears, and slice a little off the bottom so they stand up nice and flat on the counter.
- In a small pot, combine the wine, zest and juice from an orange, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom and beet slices. Bring to a simmer and stir to allow beet slices to infuse their color.
- Add the peeled pears and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered, gently stirring and turning the pears to get uniform coloring. Simmer until they’re easily pierced with the tip of a knife, at their thickest place – about 25 minutes depending on the size of the pears. With a slotted spoon, gently transfer the pears to a plate standing upright. ( You could do this ahead and refrigerate.)
- Strain the liquid and return it to the stove, and reduce. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until thickened and syrupy over medium-low heat, and reduced by two-thirds, about 15-20 minutes. Taste and adjust sweetness if you like.
- To make cardamom whipped cream- place all ingredients in a mixer with whisk attachment..and whisk until stiff peaks form, or for a workout, whisk by hand in a mixing bowl. Whisk just until the cream reaches stiff peaks. Store any unused portion in an airtight container for up to 10 hours. When ready to use, whisk for 10 to 15 seconds.
- Serve: Place each pear on a plate, spoon some warm sauce over the pears. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and with whipped cream on the side.
- Play around with using different spices and flavorings, like star anise, pink peppercorns, juniper berry, or ginger. Remember to taste your poaching liquid, for balance, sweetness and flavor. Remember … If the poaching liquid doesn’t taste good, your pears probably won’t either. 🙂
- Pears and sauce can be made ahead and reheated.
- Calories: 187
Keywords: peached pears, red wine poached pears, healthy dessert pears