Poached Pears in White Wine

photo-20Poached fruit is always an elegant and light dessert that makes such a gorgeous presentation.  I’m rather obsessed with poached pears at the moment.  The great thing about pears is that they’re available virtually year round since, much like apples, they store so well in root cellars.  It’s amazing to have a local pear in the dead of winter, and poaching them in white wine is a great way to ensure they’ll taste amazing.  And the best part is, the poaching liquid becomes a delicious syrup that’s great over ice cream or for use in cocktails.  I like serving my pears with a scoop of homemade vanilla bean ice cream, or with a dollop of mascarpone cheese that I’ve whipped with a touch of honey.  No matter the route you take, the poached pear possibilities are endless!

Choose firm pears that are not overly ripe.  I prefer Bosc or D’Anjou pears, but Seckle Pears are great too and because of their smaller size, are beautiful when left whole.

White Wine Poached Pears

  • Four Pears – peeled, halved, cores removed (a melon baller works great for this)
  • 2 cups Pinot Grigio 
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Water (1-2 cups, depending on the size of your pot)

Place the pears snugly in a saucepan.  Add the sugar, vanilla bean (pod and seeds), pinot grigio and lemon juice.  Add water to the pot until the pears are covered completely with liquid.  Bring the liquid to a boil and then promptly turn down to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until a knife can be easily inserted through the pears.  Remove the pears with a slotted spoon and reduce the cooking liquid by 1/3.  Pears can be stored in their liquid for about five days.  I would recommend allowing the pears and their liquid to come to room temperature before serving.