Poached Pears in Wine Sauce

Pears are among my favorite fruits.  Not only do I find their taste juicy and delicious, but I also love their voluptuous shape.  Plus, they remind me of that wonderfully sensual food eating scene in the film “Tom Jones” where the protagonists devour ripe pears with the juice dripping down their chins. 

Whenever I have leftover wine—red, white or rosé---and a few pears in the house, I know poached pears will soon be in the making.  This dish is so easy that you hardly require a recipe.  All you need are pears, wine, lemon, sugar and a spice.  The other ingredients are optional.  I tend to improvise based on what I have already on hand. For example, this is how I recently made poached pears in wine sauce.



4 pears, peeled, cored and quartered

¼ cup orange juice

1 cup dry wine

3 cup sugar (I used leftover lemon glaze from my Bundt pan lemon cake instead)

Lemon peels from half a lemon (I omitted because of the lemon glaze already had the citrus tang that was needed)

8 black pepper corns (or star anise or cloves)

Optional garnish choices:  candied orange zest; vanilla ice cream; chocolate sauce; toasted nuts of any kind; and/or whipped cream laced with Grand Marnier


Cooking Instructions:

1.       As you prepare the pears, put the quarters in orange juice to prevent browning.

2.       Add pear pieces and orange juice to a skillet along with all the other ingredients.

3.       Make sure the wine covers the pears completely.  If not, add some water.

4.       Cook slowly over a low flame until the sauce thickens, stirring periodically to make sure sugar dissolves, around 15 minutes. Turn the pears carefully several times to make sure all sides color evenly.   If the pears are cooked through before the sauce thickens remove them to another plate. Then, gradually reduce the sauce.

5.       Serve the pears simply with their sauce in small glass bowls.  Or, add your choice of garnishes.

Serves 4

Wine suggestion:  Pear Eau de Vie such as Poire William