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Pears Poached with Dessert Wine & Cinnamon

Although pears are excellent poached in red wine, this is an interesting alternative, if you come across a bottles of sweet dessert wine, such as Sauterne.
Good Vanilla Ice Cream makes the perfect accompaniment.

Key Features

  • Suitable for Vegetarians
  • Suitable for Vegans


For 4 people:

400ml/14 fl oz. Sauterne, Balsec or similar sweet dessert wine

100gr/3 oz Soft Brown Sugar

1-2 Cinnamon Sticks - depending on size; if using on large one, break it in half

1 Vanilla Pod, split lengthways, exposing the seeds

4 firm Comice Pears, peeled and with their husk-ends cut a little so they stand upright

About 400ml/14 fl oz. hot water

1 rounded teaspoon (5ml) Ground Cinnamon

2 tablespoon Soft Brown Sugar

30gr/ 1 oz Butter

Equipment: a deep (rather than wide) stainless steel or glass saucepan


1. Put the wine with the cinnamon stick/s, split vanilla pod and sugar in a deep non-reactive saucepan (so not aluminium) and slowly bring to the boil, stirring as the sugar dissolves.

2. Add the pears to the pan, then enough hot water to come up to the bottom of the stalks.

3. Bring the liquid to the boil again, then lower the heat to maintain a simmer.

4. Cook until the pears are tender - this will depend on the ripeness of your pears, but check with a thin sharp knife after 20 minutes.

5. Remove the pears from the pan and set them aside.

6. Return the liquid to the heat and simmer it for a further 20 minutes or until you have a thick syrup.

7. While the syrup is reducing, mix the second 2 tablespoons of sugar with the ground cinnamon.

8. Melt the butter, over a low heat, in wide frying pan - add the cinnamon and sugar mix, then roll the pears in this mix, being careful not to burn your fingers.

9. Cook the pears in the mixture for about 5 minutes, turning them. The coating should start to caramelise on the pears - giving them a coating.

To serve, stand each pear in its serving dish then pour some of the syrup around each one.

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