Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears with Vanilla Mascarpone Whipped Cream

4.77 from 26 votes
55 minutes
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Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears with Vanilla Mascarpone Whipped Cream is a sexy, holiday dessert that will have everyone talking!

Photo of Spiced Red Wine-Poached Pears with Vanilla Mascarpone Whipped Cream on white plate being drizzled with sauce.

Red wine poached pears have got to be the quintessential holiday dessert!  Love that they’re on the light side, too!

Whether you need a show-stopping, sophisticated dessert or just want something easy you can make ahead of time for a special holiday dinner these Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears with Vanilla Mascarpone Whipped Cream are the solution.

Wine-poached pears–whether in red wine or white wine–are a classic, French preparation that doesn’t require an Escoffier degree.  Serving them only makes you look like you attended a French culinary school!

What are the ideal pears for poaching?

Bosc (or Kaiser) pears are ideal for poaching because they keep their shape when cooked.  However, any pear that is not overly ripe can work.  Pears are the perfect ripeness for poaching when they yield slightly to pressure but are still firm.  Look for pears that are free of blemishes as having to remove them can affect the appearance.

Tips for peeling pears:

When peeling them for these Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears, work in long, even strokes to avoid a choppy or uneven appearance.  A vegetable peeler works perfectly.  You also want to be careful not to bruise them.

Tips for poaching pears:

It’s important to periodically turn the pears while they’re poaching to ensure even cooking and consistent ruby-red color.  You also want to turn them occasionally while they’re cooling in the red wine mixture because they continue to soak up the mixture.

How to serve:

  • I serve with a simple vanilla mascarpone whipped cream.  For less work, gently heat them back up in the poaching liquid and serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
  • Be sure to give your guests both a fork AND a spoon to enjoy this dessert–a fork to help secure the pear and the spoon to eat it with.

Happy holidays!

Photo of Spiced Red Wine-Poached Pears with Vanilla Mascarpone Whipped Cream on white plate with fork.

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Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears with Vanilla Mascarpone Whipped Cream

4.77 from 26 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears with Vanilla Mascarpone Whipped Cream is a sexy, holiday dessert that will have everyone talking!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Desserts
Cuisine French
Servings 2
Calories 1073 kcal

Ingredients
  

Pears

  • 3 cups dry red wine - such as cabernet or merlot
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 long strip orange peel - approximately 1-inch by 4-inch
  • 1 large orange - juiced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole whole cloves
  • 2 firm, ripe Bosc pears

Whipped Cream

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

Pears

  • Combine wine, sugar, orange peel, orange juice, cinnamon stick and cloves in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
  • While poaching liquid is simmering, peel pears, leaving the stem intact and being careful not to bruise the pears.
  • Slice a small amount from the bottom of the pears to create a flat bottom if necessary so the pears stand upright.
  • Gently place the pears in the poaching liquid. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes (depending upon size), turning every 5 minutes with a slotted spoon to ensure even color. Pears should be cooked but still firm.
  • Cool at room temperature, turning occasionally to ensure even color.
  • When the pears have cooled to room temperature, refrigerate in the liquid at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours, turning occasionally to maintain even color.
  • To serve: Remove pears from poaching liquid and place on a serving plate.
  • Strain poaching liquid and place back in the saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook until reduced by at least half. Liquid should be slightly syrupy. Let cool to room temperature.
  • Drizzle pears with sauce and serve with Vanilla Mascarpone Whipped Cream.

Whipping Cream

  • Combine cream, mascarpone, sugar and vanilla extract in a small, deep bowl. Beat until thick and the consistency of whipped cream, about 5-7 minutes. Serve with pears.

Notes

MAKE AHEAD:  Cool at room temperature, turning occasionally to ensure even color. When the pears have cooled to room temperature, refrigerate in the liquid for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours, turning occasionally to maintain even color.

Nutrition

Serving: 2 | Calories: 1073kcal | Carbohydrates: 110g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 217mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 88g

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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Recipe Rating




26 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Carol, thanks for an amazing recipe! My poaching liquid is simmering to reduce to syrup right now. I tried a teaspoon of it and it’s delicious. I have one follow up question. How much residual alcohol is left in the final product, if any? I’m pregnant and normally wouldn’t cook anything like that at the moment but I was given a bottle of red wine and opened it to add a small amount to bolognese and didn’t want to waste the rest. Thanks again!

    1. Thanks so much for your question! Sorry for the delay in responding; I’m dealing with a family situation right now. As far as the level of alcohol left, it’s really hard to say. It’s a myth that “alcohol cooks off.” There’s always a small amount left. Please consult your doctor as to the amount of alcohol that is safe to consume right now. Thanks again!

  2. 5 stars
    First time I’ve ever made poached pears (or poached anything), and I’m not an experienced cook NOR do I like wine but… these came out amazing. Love the syrup, which I can see being suitable both for Christmas AND Halloween. It was a great learning experience and I will definitely be making these again. Thank you so much for sharing this gorgeous recipe!

  3. I love this recipe. The poaching liquid is so good. I prepare the pears the day before. The morning of my serving the pears I plate the pears by fanning them. I strain the poaching liquid and reduce not quite to syrup. I cover and refrigerate the pears. I put the syrup in a container. At time of serving I warm the syrup, drizzle the sauce over the pears and add blue cheese crumbles. I also use mint leaves by the pear stems.

    1. Hi, Meia, Thanks so much for your question. I would not freeze them as they would get mushy after thawing. I actually think they’d be okay for four days. Hope you enjoy!

      1. Oh, okay! So you would just follow the recipe all the way through and then put them in the fridge in a Tupperware in the fridge and take them out Thanksgiving day?

  4. I used this recipe last night for a dinner for 6 (Silence of the Lambs/ Hannibal Lecter themed)… the “skinned” pears in a deep red syrup were perfect! (I wish I could post a photo!)
    I doubled the recipe for the sauce and poached 7 pears. I have leftover syrup that I will use over ice cream, or maybe even in cocktails …it’s unbelievably delicious!

    1. Hi, Erica, Your party sounds like crazy fun! I think the leftover sauce would be amazing over ice cream or in a cocktail. Thanks so much and so glad you enjoyed!

  5. 5 stars
    I used this recipe last night for a dinner for 6 (Silence of the Lambs/ Hannibal Lecter themed)… the “skinned” pears in a deep red syrup were perfect! (I wish I could post a photo!)
    I doubled the recipe for the sauce and poached 7 pears. I have leftover syrup that I will use over ice cream, or maybe even in cocktails …it’s unbelievably delicious!

  6. Hi there – do you think it would be possible to do a large batch of these in the oven? I’m thinking, 40 pears for a party. Thank you!

    1. Hi, Caroline, Thanks so much for your question. You absolutely can make it the night before. Cool in the syrup, turning the pears occasionally as they continue to soak up the sauce. As soon as you get up in the morning, turn the pears again as you want the color as even as possible. Store in the refrigerator overnight and bring to room temperature. Hope you enjoy and Happy Holidays!

    1. Hi, Caroline, Thanks for your question. You shouldn’t need to triple everything. Triple the pears of course, but perhaps just add another cup of wine and adjust sugar and orange juice up a little bit. I used this recipe as inspiration:

      http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/spiced-red-wine-poached-pears-recipe.html

      Ellie Krueger used only two cups of red wine for four servings. I didn’t think that was enough. It’s up to you how much sauce you want. If you have any left over, it’s great over vanilla ice cream..