Wine-Poached Pears


2 cups Zinfandel or Merlot wine
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise
1 whole cinnamon stick
Zest and juice of 1 orange
Zest of 1 lemon
1 whole bay leaf
6 ripe Bosc pears, stems
Raspberries (optional)


In a medium-size saucepan over medium heat, combine wine, sugar, vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, orange zest and juice, lemon zest, and bay leaf. Stir together until sugar dissolves.

Peel pears, leaving stems intact. Cut ¼ inch off the bottom of each pear (so that pears can stand upright for serving). Lay pears down in liquid.

Bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, turning pears every few minutes, until a paring knife pierces them easily, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let pears cool to room temperature in liquid.

When cool, use a slotted spoon to remove pears from liquid. Refrigerate pears, covered, until chilled through, about 2 hours.

Meanwhile, strain poaching liquid over a second saucepan. Discard solids. Bring liquid to a boil; cook until reduced to a thick syrup, about 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

When ready to serve, arrange pears on a platter or individual plates and drizzle poaching liquid over them. Garnish with raspberries if you like.


6 servings

Preparation Time: 

40 minutes

Start to Finish Time: 

3 hours

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