There’s something both homey and elegant about poached pears. While they can be poached in any type of wine, or even juice, we’re particularly fond of red wine because of the deep purple color it lends to the pears. Bosc pears, because their texture is firm and dense, are perfect for poaching. They can cook for a long time, absorbing the flavors without falling apart.
- 4 firm-ripe Bosc pears (about 2 ½ pounds total), stem on if possible
- 1 bottle dry red wine, such as Shiraz
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 8 allspice berries
- 8 black peppercorns
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Prep Time: 30m
- Cook Time: 1hr
With a melon baller or small sturdy measuring spoon, core the pears from the bottom. Peel the pears.
In a saucepan large enough to hold the pears (lying on their sides) in a single layer, combine the wine, sugar, vanilla bean, allspice, peppercorns and cinnamon stick. Add the pears. Cut a round of wax paper large enough to cover the pears and place it on top of them. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes.
Carefully turn the pears over and cook until the pears can be pierced with a paring knife but still hold their shape and are not falling apart, about 30 minutes longer. Transfer the pears to a shallow bowl.
Bring the wine mixture to a boil over high heat and cook until reduced to 1 cup with the consistency of a thick syrup, about 10 minutes. Cool the syrup and pour over the pears. (The pears can be kept in the refrigerator covered by their syrup for several days.)
The pears can be stuffed with soft cheese, such as goat cheese or blue cheese (Roquefort or Danish blue).
This recipe can be found in our Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook.