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These festive red wine Poached Pears are absolutely gorgeous, infused with beautiful color! This light and healthy dessert is perfect for the holidays- vegan and can be made ahead. 

Poached Pears


Poached pears get a little makeover with red wine, pomegranate seedscardamom. This easy healthy dessert is perfect after a heavy holiday meal and is a snap to make!


Units Scale

Cardamom Whipped Cream (optional)

  • 1/41/2 tsp ground cardamom (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream


  1. Peel the pears, and slice a little off the bottom so they stand up nice and flat on the counter.
  2. In a small pot, combine the wine, zest and juice from an orange,  sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, nutmegcardamom and beet slices. Bring to a simmer and stir to allow beet slices to infuse their color.
  3. 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.)
  4. 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 the sweetness if you like.
  5. 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.
  6. Serve: Place each pear on a plate, and spoon some redwine sauce over the pears. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and with whipped cream on the side.


  1. 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. 🙂
  2. Pears and sauce can be made ahead and reheated.


  • Serving Size: 1 pear without whipping cream
  • Calories: 146
  • Sugar: 25.1 g
  • Sodium: 44.2 mg
  • Fat: 0.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 35.9 g
  • Fiber: 6.3 g
  • Protein: 1.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: peached pears, red wine poached pears, healthy dessert pears