Pears are an underrated fruit for sure! They’re one of my favourite fruits to make desserts with because they are super versatile. These red wine poached pears are exquisite with tons of flavours going into the poaching liquid. I serve them with whipped mascarpone cream and toasted almonds.
My favourite part about this recipe is the tip to make them extra purple. To achieve extreme purple-ness you need to cook them, remove them, strain the liquid and let it cool down completely. Then it’s into a container with the pears. You place this container in the fridge and they stay there overnight. In that way they will be super intense in flavour and colour.
Another part I love in this recipe is the mascarpone whipped cream. It’s so silky and delicious! The perfect sutil pairing for the intense red wine sauce. Honestly I could eat that combination all day long. If there are no pears left but there’s sauce and mascarpone cream I’ll be having some of that in a bowl, lol! If you’re making this recipe ahead of time you can have everything ready in the fridge. You should, however, whip up the cream right before serving.
That colour of these poached pears is honestly killing me right now! And can we talk about how incredible these pears would look displayed in a large dish? That would be an amazing dinner center piece! If you like edible flowers, then some white edible flowers would look amazing, too. Ugh, how I wish there was some left still in the fridge. This or maybe that olive oil cake with pears, hehe.
For the red wine poached pears
- 1.2 kg / 2.5 pounds pears don't use super ripe pears or they will disintegrate
- 1 bottle of Carmenere Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon (750ml)
- Zest and juice from 1 orange
- Zest and juice from 1 lemon
- 200 g sugar
- 1 star anise
- 8 cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tsp vanilla essence
For the whipped mascarpone cream
- 100 g mascarpone cheese *you can omit this and only make whipped cream
- 200 g whipping cream cold
- 3 tbsp icing sugar sifted *use only 2 tbsp if making whipped cream
For the almonds
- 80 g almonds toasted and chopped
For the pears
- Peel the pears keeping the stalks on.
- Cut them in half lengthwise and remove the core using a melon baller or a metal measuring spoon. Also remove the bottom where the fibers are. For further reference watch the video above. Alternatively you could cook them whole or not remove the core if you prefer.
- Put your pears in the pot together with the zests and spices, orange juice, lemon juice and wine. Top up with water to make sure the pears are covered.
- Place a lid on the pot and slowly simmer them until you can easily go through them with a knife (15-30min depending on the ripeness of the pears). Remove them from the pot.
- Strain the poaching liquid and discard the flavourings. If you want to make the pears go intensely purple then wait for the liquid to cool down and place the pears and liquid in a container. Keep in the fridge overnight. If you like them as they are then go on to the next step.
- The last step is to reduce the juice into a syrup by boiling it until the bubbles become denser and start to come up the pot. Remove from the heat and cool down to room temperature. If by the time it cools down you realize it has thickened too much you can think it down with a bit of boiling water.
For the whipped mascarpone cream
- Place all ingredients in a bowl and whip until fluffy.