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This poached pears in red wine recipe is easy to make and is sure to impress your dinner guests.

The dark red color and of this red wine poached pear recipe make it an eye-catching dessert. The perfect dessert to make over and over again for Fall and Winter.

Poached pears in red wine is a classic French dessert recipe, but you can present it in all kinds of imaginative ways to your family and friends; for example, for Halloween, it can be a spooky Halloween dessert called ‘Poached pears in Dracula blood’. Then, re-imagined as a ‘Winter’s Tale’ dessert for an elegant dinner party.

Add more Christmassy spices, like star anise, cloves and orange peel for an easy, elegant Christmas dessert.

Serving Suggestion

Serve your red wine poached pears with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Serves 6



  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1 cup/225g caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick, halved
  • fresh thyme sprig, plus sprigs to serve
  • 6 pears, peeled, whole with stalk intact
  • Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream (optional)


Halve the vanilla pod lengthways, scrape out the seeds.  Add seeds to a large saucepan with the wine, sugar, cinnamon and thyme. Add the pod to the pan, and then lower in the pears.

Poach the pears for 20-30 mins, making sure they are submerged in the wine and covered. The cooking time will depend on the ripeness of your pears – they should be tender all the way through when pierced with a cocktail stick. They can be made up to 2 days ahead and chilled in the fridge.

Remove the pears from the saucepan, and then boil the liquid to reduce it by half until it’s syrupy.

Serve each pear with the cooled syrup, a piece of cinnamon, a small thyme sprig and a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream (optional).