Today David shares his recipe for pears poached in red wine, a classic Spanish dessert that never disappoints!
We’re coming into pear season in Spain, and for pear-lovers like me, that means it’s time to start incorporating them into every possible meal!
There’s something unbeatable about the subtle, floral sweetness of a fresh pear. They’re great by themselves, but really shine when poached to perfection in spiced red wine. The wine helps enhance the fruitiness of the fruit, and the spices give off an enchanting aroma. Plus, the gorgeous red hues that the pears take on makes them an attention-grabbing dish at any table!
This dish has its roots in the cuisine of the Burgundy region of France, and makes a great warming dessert for cool nights, or a fantastic sweet breakfast. While the French version is classically delicious, I’ve added my own Spanish touch to the dish with a splash of sherry and some distinctly Moorish spices!
You’ll find that a fruity red wine works best with the flavor of the pear, so I opt for a fresh Spanish grenache/garnacha or a more fruit-forward syrah or tempranillo. Top the dish with fresh whipped cream and vanilla ice cream for a heavenly taste explosion!
Poached Pears in Red Wine Recipe
- 4 large pears (Bosc or Anjou varieties work best)
- 1 and a half cups red wine
- ½ cup Pedro Ximenez sweet sherry
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 8 whole cloves
- 8 whole green cardamom pods
- 4 whole star anise pieces
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ cup fresh mint leaves, to serve
- Place all the ingredients except the pears in a saucepan. The saucepan should fit all of the pears comfortably, with enough depth to submerge them completely in the poaching liquid.
- Bring the mix to the boil, and then turn the heat down to a low simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- When the sugar is dissolved and the wine is simmering, peel the pears. The fruit will discolor quickly, so peel them only when ready!
- Gently submerge the peeled pears in the wine mix, and poach for 20-25 minutes or until tender enough to be poked through with a fork. Turn the pears every 5 minutes to help them poach evenly.
- Keeping the pears upright, remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the pears to cool in the wine. Once cool, remove the pears and leave on a plate or wire rack.
- Return the wine mix to the heat and bring to a simmer. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, and has formed a syrup. If it gets too thick, you can thin it out with a little water.
- To serve the pears, place upright on a plate and drizzle with a spoonful of the syrup. Garnish with some fresh, torn mint leaves and a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Have you tried poaching pears in red wine? Tell me what spices you love most in the comments below!