4 red wine poached pears in grey shallow bowl with spoon pouring red syrup over a pear
5 from 5 votes

Poached Pears in Red Wine and Spices

Poached Pears in Red Wine and Spices is a simple and impressive dessert that is equally at home at a dinner party or family meal. These delicious pears glisten with syrup and are fragrant with spices. Included is a special ingredient that balances out the sweetness.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings: 4 people
Author: Marcellina


  • 4 pears
  • 2 cups medium dry red wine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns (whole or cracked)


  • Place red wine, sugar, water, balsamic vinegar, cinnamon stick, whole cloves and black pepper into a medium size pot that will snuggly fit the pears.
  • Bring to the boil.
  • While waiting for the wine to boil, peel pears.
  • Prepare baking paper cartouche. See notes.
  • When the wine mixture is boiling, stir to dissolve sugar.
  • Gently lower peeled pears into the wine and reduce to a simmer.
  • Scrunch prepared baking paper and place over pears using the back of a spoon to press down.
  • Cover pan with the lid and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the lid. Lift the paper cartouche and turn pears over and replace paper.
  • Continue to simmer, uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until tender. Pierce with a skewer or knife to check.
  • Remove pears with a slotted spoon to a plate.
  • The syrup should have reduced to 1 cup. If not, simmer to reduce to 1 cup.
  • If reduced to less than a cup, add enough water to bring the syrup to one cup.
  • Strain syrup.
  • Cool pears and syrup.
  • Serve pears with syrup at room temperature or chilled.
  • Delicious with vanilla ice cream


How to make a baking paper cartouche.

Take a square of baking paper, fold it evenly in half, then in half again to form a square. Fold the square in half (keeping folded edges together otherwise you will end up with two semicircles) to form a triangle.
  1. Hold pointy tip in the middle of the pan and trim the edge of the triangle to fit. Cut a little off the tip as well.
  2. Unfold and check that you have cut enough off to fit the pan.
  3. Now scrunch it! Yep, this will help it fit well into the pan.
  4. Lay the cartouche over the liquid and push right down so that it touches the liquid completely.


Calories: 403kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 206mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 68g | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg