I love the rich color of pears poached in red wine.


Read my Holiday/Winter 2015 issue!

Serves 4

You will need:



For the Poached Pears:
1 vanilla pod
1 bottle red wine
1⁄3 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
10 whole peppercorns
8 whole cloves
4 whole star anise
fresh thyme sprigs
1 orange, just the peel
4 ripe Bosc pears, peeled with stems intact

For the Cardamom Crème Fraîche:
1⁄2 cup crème fraîche
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon good vanilla extract


  1. Halve the vanilla pod lengthways, scrape out black seeds, and put them and the pod in a large saucepan with wine, sugar, cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, anise, thyme, and orange peel.
  2. Delicately slice off the bottom of each pear so they can stand upright when ready to serve.
  3. Lower them on their sides into liquid.
  4. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently, partially covered, for 1–11⁄2 hours, or until pears are tender and the liquid has reduced.
  5. Baste pears with the spiced wine a few times during cooking, turning the pears over at least once so that both sides have a turn being fully submerged in the liquid.
  6. Carefully remove pears and set aside.
  7. Boil liquid for 8–10 minutes or until thick and syrupy.
  8. In a separate bowl, add spices to crème fraîche and whisk until it just starts to thicken.
  9. erve pears with syrup drizzled over, thyme sprig, and cardamom crème fraîche.

TIP:

Photography by Food+styling by Carlo Geraci | Photography by Linda Pugliese

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