riesling poached pears

Originally posted: August 2008

riesling poached pears

For Heidi’s farewell dinner, I decided to put a little more effort into the dessert. Initially I wanted to serve up these pears with a hazelnut macaron (another excuse to do my macarooning experiments) and vanilla ice-cream, but eventually opted to do a warm chocolate cake so that I could use up some fondant cake mix sitting in the cupboard. I also paired the pears with pistachio ice-cream for a little twist and mainly because I knew there would be leftover ice-cream and I would be more than happy to finish anything pistachio.

Riesling Poached Pears

Recipe taken from Global Gourmet.

Riesling-Poached Pears
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Chill time: at least 2 hours (I didn’t chill my pears cause I wanted to serve them warm)

Makes 4 servings/230 cals, 8g fat per serving.


  • 2-1/2 cups Riesling or other fruity white wine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 firm-but-ripe Bartlett pears with stems (8 ounces each) (I used mini pears and managed to cook about eight)


  1.  In 3-quart nonaluminum high-sided saucepan, stir together wine, sugar, peppercorns, and vanilla bean (do not add extract here). Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, peel pears, leaving stems attached. With apple corer, core the pears from the bottom (you only have to go about halfway up). Place pears in hot liquid, cover pan, and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 20 minutes, or until pears are tender but not falling apart when pierced with tip of knife. With slotted spoon, carefully transfer pears to medium bowl.
  3. Bring poaching liquid to a boil over high heat; cook 25 minutes, or until reduced to a syrup. Let liquid cool and stir in extract, if using. Reserve vanilla bean if desired. (I didn’t really reduce the liquid to a syrup, but do let it boil a little)
  4. Pour syrup over pears in bowl, cover, and refrigerate, turning occasionally, at least 2 hours, or until well chilled. To serve, place 1 pear in each of 4 shallow bowls. Strain syrup and spoon over pears. (As mentioned above, I didn’t chill my pears so basically I just let them cool in the syrup)

Possible Variations:
Adding a cinnamon stick might add some nice flavour to the syrup and pears.
Using brown instead of white sugar might also give richer flavour to the syrup.


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