Poached Pears with Pinot

Recently I was contacted by KitchenAid® to participate in a recipe challenge for the holiday season. My challenge: POACH PEARS WITH PINOT. A perfectly paired palate pleaser for the holidays, don’t you think? Precisely. 

Poached Pears with Pinot

We’ve been in her home for over six years now and our KitchenAid® appliances, especially our KitchenAid® cooktop, has been through the works. It’s a KitchenAid® 5 burner stainless surface gas cooktop.

Poached Pears with Pinot Poached Pears with Pinot

Hands-down, cooking with a gas cooktop is my favorite, and this KitchenAid® has served us well. I only wish I had a second one to juggle the many pots and pans for the busier cooking times of the year (like now). It’s been a workhorse for sure. The only thing it’s missing is a little elf to come out and clean it every night while I’m sleeping. Wouldn’t that be something. I think KitchenAid® should start work on developing that feature right away. Indeed.

A girl can dream. Until then, back to the Poached Pears with Pinot. Poached Pears sounds like such a fancy, difficult dish. But it’s not. Really. If you can peal fruit, stir, and simmer, you’ll have no problem. And it’s perfect for the holidays, because it can be made ahead of time with a little rewarming of sauce. I do love a dish that can be made ahead. Let me show you how easy it is: Begin by bringing some Pinot, water and brown sugar to a boil.

Poached Pears with Pinot

While that warms, begin preparing the pears. First, peal the pears, leaving the stems on.

Poached Pears with Pinot

Next core the bottom blossom end. And if it’s a wobbly pear, like some pears like to be, slice off a sliver of the bottom so it will stand perfectly perpendicular to a plate.

Poached Pears with Pinot Poached Pears with Pinot

In addition to the pears going for a swim, you’ll be adding: a cinnamon stick, orange slices (or other orange-y citrus), nutmeg, and almond extract.

Poached Pears with Pinot

Once the Pinot mixture has come to a boil, lower the temperature to a simmer and add in the remaining ingredients, laying the pears on their sides. Simmer for a while, at least 20 minutes or so, until the pears are tender.

Poached Pears with Pinot

During the simmering, gently turn the pears so they can bathe altogether in the Pinot poaching party.

Poached Pears with Pinot

Be gentle! It’s very easy to puncture pears when they are poached. Once the pears have finished poaching, remove them and place them in a bowl. Aren’t they pretty? Poached pears are so dramatic.

Poached Pears with Pinot Poached Pears with Pinot

Continue cooking the poaching liquid at a low boil until liquid reduces, and becomes more syrupy.

Poached Pears with Pinot

When the poaching liquid has thickened up, strain it over the patiently waiting pears. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, or ready to serve.

Poached Pears with Pinot Poached Pears with Pinot

When ready to serve, plate the pear (perpendicularly), reheat the sauce or serve it cold drizzled over the poached pears. Enjoy with whipped cream and toasted nuts. Poached Pears with Pinot

These pretty Poached Pears with Pinot is a pleasing dessert that any person, or elf—a cleaning elf or not—would positively enjoy! I know I did.

4.9 from 9 reviews
Poached Pears with Pinot
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1½ cups Pinot
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 4 Bosc pears, ripe but not soft
  • 1 medium orange (or 2 tangerine, mandarin, or other small orange-y citrus)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  1. In a medium saucepan whisk together, water, Pinot, brown sugar and bring to a low boil.
  2. While water/Pinot mixture comes to a boil, peal pears, and core blossom end. If needed, slice a bit off the bottom so pear will stand upright.
  3. Slice orange.
  4. Back to the stove. Lower heat to medium-low, and add orange slices, nutmeg, and almond extract to saucepan. Stir to combine.
  5. Lay pears in Pinot mixture, cover and simmer until pears are tender, about 20-25 minutes—maybe longer. Halfway through cook time, gently turn pears over.
  6. When pears are tender, remove them from saucepan, place in bowl.
  7. Return saucepan contents to a low boil and cook until liquid reduces by half and becomes syrupy. Strain liquid over pears. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. May keep refrigerated for up to 2 days, until ready to serve.
  8. Reheat sauce or serve chilled drizzled over pears. Serve whipped cream, and/or toasted nuts alongside.
Recipe adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything.

***This sweepstakes has ended.*** (This post was sponsored by KitchenAid®. As always, all opinions are my own.)

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  1. 1

    Shannon says

    Why leave the stems on? Is that just to fancy them up a bit?

    For the giveaway: I love making lots of Christmas cookies each year. I usually make the dough early in the month when things are sightly quieter and freeze it, then I bake them as I intend to serve/gift them. That’s as close as I get to “perfectly prepared,” lol.

    • 2


      Hello Shannon,

      I think so. You can certainly remove them, and even cut the pairs in half if you’d like. If you do that, they would require less cook time if they’re cut.

  2. 3

    Cori R. says

    I try to start xmss shopping in Oct and finish with Black Friday deals. December is when I focus on the kitchen and baking with all my shopping done.

  3. 4


    These pairs are gorgeous!! Seriously, wow!

    I am still trying to figure out how to prepare for the holidays…lots of cooking in advance!

  4. 5


    Amy! I’ve always wanted to try these, but felt like I wasn’t fancy enough. ;) I’m going to try now…they look so pretty and delicious!

    I try to prepare for the holidays by making extra cookies when I can and freezing them.

  5. 6

    Leslie Kiley says

    I am a list maker! every aspect goes down on a list and gets checked off. I also use apps like Ziplist to get all the meals down pat! I do all this so my family can really enjoy the holiday without stress,
    I love your pears! They look so fancy and fun for a great change to a lighter ending to a meal!

  6. 7

    Jamie says

    The more I procrastinate, the better prepared I seem to be! I just roll with the punches :)

  7. 8

    angel kendrick says

    I try to prepare early starting after Halloween, buying gifts,preparing cookie dough and freezing it and making the list of gifts I will need

  8. 11


    I am an early Christmas shopper and have all of my presents bought by December. {of course, I procrastinate on wrapping them until Christmas Eve!}

    I love these poached pears, such a beautiful dish!

  9. 12

    Elizabeth says

    I prepare for the holidays by starting early! Christmas shopping is 98% done by November, presents are wrapped mid-November to December, decor goes up right after Thanksgiving. Leaving December for baking, cooking and spending time with family and friends!

  10. 14

    Kathy - Panini Happy says

    These photos are SO incredibly beautiful, Amy!! Not sure how perfect my holiday preparation is (smile) but I do have quite a few lists running to help me keep things straight. :-)

  11. 15


    I am not going to make any plan for my holidays this year unless I win some free gift cards somehow, whether it’s from this Sweepstake or another…

    So please enter me for 2 entries, I blogged about it on my blog also.

  12. 16

    Kala says

    I try to keep things simple (like giving friends and coworkers baked goodies for Christmas gifts), shopping year-round for my husband with very particular tastes, and by making lots of lists. I also try to make time to be mindful of advent, the joy of traditions like decorating the tree, and spending time with family.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  13. 18

    Heather says

    I try to plan ahead as much as possible. I also make recipes that I know are easy and everyone loves. No new recipes during this time. Too much stress already!

  14. 20

    Sharon says

    I prepare by doing a lot of prep work for holiday cooking, and freezing for use as needed. (Doughs, veggies, etc).

  15. 23

    Jessica S says

    This sounds so sad, but I don’t do much to prepare for the holidays (I live alone in my apartment, I am in college, and I live on the other side of the country from my family). Every holiday other than Christmas I am usually alone because my friends are with their families, on vacation or in another state… BUT, I always buy gifts ahead of time and all throughout the year to avoid price markups before the holidays. I keep the presents in my closet so every time I see them I get excited to see my friends and family. It’s uplifting to see the gifts day to day :D

  16. 24

    MaryB says

    I try to do all I can ahead of time but I love the holidays and it doesn’t bother me if things aren’t perfect…I bake cookies that freeze well ahead of time to free up the time closer to Christmas for the things that can’t be done ahead.

  17. 25

    Kim Beaulieu says

    Amy I’m not entering, I’m a Canuck but just wanted to say how gorgeous these pears are. I am in awe. I’m also seriously in love with your kitchen. It’s gorgeous.

  18. 26

    rachel says

    Perfectly?? I’m not there yet! ha! But I try to use lists and prioritizing.

  19. 27

    Darlene Wright says

    Not perfect yet, lol but I do try to plan ahead and cook ahead! Thanks for giveaway!

  20. 28

    Wehaf says

    In no way do I perfectly prepare for the holidays, but I do try to spread my shopping out over the year, and cook pies in batches and keep them in the freezer.

  21. 29

    D SCHMIDT says

    I plan for the holidays by writing lots of lists, asking family members for help and preparing dishes in advance and freezing them.

  22. 31

    Melissa L. says

    I perfectly prepare for the holidays by shopping early. Helps to create less stress around Christmas time! Thanks for the giveaway!

  23. 32


    All year long, I keep a folder on my computer of all my recipe and craft ideas that I’m going to make for the holidays. I also collect stocking stuffers and hang on to them all year!

  24. 33

    Margot C says

    Gosh that is beautiful! My many (far from perfect) preparations are mostly confined to the sweet baking arena; cookies, cup cakes, pies etc. I even made petit fours for Thanksgiving.

  25. 35


    To perfectly prepared for the holiday? Stay calm and plan! Yeah, planning ahead is important, what to buy, what dishes you can make ahead, and who will be helping out, etc. :)

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  26. 37


    My husband and I make meals a day or so ahead. Anything that can be prepared in advance is. Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce. You name it.

  27. 39


    How do you perfectly prepare ahead for the holidays? Do share!
    …I start buying ingredients in October for my holiday recipes. I keep the non perishables on a top shelf so I don’t use them in other recipes until the holiday season.

  28. 40

    karen medlin says

    Your stove is one I have in my dream kitchen, Your pears look so easy to make, I always shied away from making something that fancy. Next shopping trip I will be picking up supplies to give this a try. I try to make it stress free as possible, I have a list, and I double bake a few casseroles to keep in the freezer for those busy days. With the baking, instead of me baking 5 different desserts, I get together with the family, and each family picks out one dessert to make and they make a few extras for each family member to take home after our family Christmas Eve Party.

  29. 42


    I do my holiday preparations in stages so that I am not so overwhelmed!!! For instance, I have most of my presents bought and wrapped by the first week of December. I start buying treats a little at a time each week with my groceries (the ones that can be bought early anyway) so that my budget isn’t overwhelmed. And, I start cleaning heavily a little at a time so that by the time guests are due to arrive, I just have a little bit to do!!!! thanks for a chance to win! kmassman gmail

  30. 43

    Susan Smith says

    I try to prepare early starting in mid November, preparing cookie dough and freezing it, going through storage and getting our my Christmas decorations and cards and making the list of gifts I will need. I start shopping after Thanksgiving.

  31. 45

    Eugenie says

    I make goodies in the kitchen as gifts for everyone! Perfect gift idea every year.
    That pear photo is absolutely awesome.

  32. 47


    I prepare by doing the little things, like mixing up cookie dough ahead of time to refrigerate, and then use when I have time to bake with my daughter.

    chambanachik at gmail dot com

  33. 48

    Sandy Headtke says

    Perfectly prepared is not me. I don’t stress about being perfect, time to relax and enjoy family. We decide what is important and say no to the rest.

  34. 49

    KACIE says

    I prepare by making my party menus as early as possible! Every time I see something like this, I add it to the “ideas” list.

  35. 51

    Rhonda G says

    Lots of planning and I shop very early. Anything that can be prepared and frozen, I do it!

  36. 52

    Elena says

    I plan ahead by making shopping lists and gifts lists and by buying food and gifts a few weeks before the holidays

  37. 53

    amy williams says

    stocking up on items well in advance and makings lists (checking them twice!)

  38. 56

    Kenny says

    I have it easy. Holidays are usually at my sister’s house so I just show up to eat & drink!

  39. 58

    Natalie G. says

    I make cookie dough ahead of time and freeze it for when it’s time to bake!

  40. 60

    Kathy M. says

    Start early with deep cleaning, shopping, and decorating. Keep decorations & meals simple, yet elegant & family friendly. Shop with a friend or share duties with a family member to get the deals. Send out Christmas cards on December 1st (you’ll get more in return) and check it off your list … Make a timeline list of things that need to be done. Have a Merry Christmas!

  41. 61

    Jennifer Jackson says

    I shop for all ingredients for my new recipes I want to try. Start making stuff and trying them on my family. :-) it’s fun!

  42. 62

    Rosie says

    For me, it is a year-round activity, with collecting recipes and testing them, and also making gifts – I craft and sew and also make holiday décor. I save quite a bit by buying things on sale and with coupons, etc. I also make food gifts ahead or plan ahead.

  43. 63

    Lacey Davis says

    Do as much ahead of time as possible- shopping, wrapping, chopping veggies, pie crusts, other doughs- all done as early as possible!

  44. 65

    Benjamin Spaulding says

    Make a grocery shopping list days ahead of holiday meals, not just a list of what we’re making. Compare this list to the pantry and purchase well ahead of time.
    For the Turkey, I like to get it at least 4 days ahead to ensure the bird has a full thaw before brining.

  45. 66

    Laura R says

    I kind of just wing it lol. The only preparing I do is decorating the tree

  46. 67

    Mami2jcn says

    I do a lot of Pinterest research to see cool and creative ways to decorate and make fun desserts.

  47. 69

    Rachel Lewter says

    On a normal basis I have my calendar down and planning everything. Friends ask for my homemade sheetcakes, so I buy the pans after Christmas every year on sale.
    This year, I’m without a home, I have a roof and a bed, but no home yet.
    There is a home in the making, so I’m here trying to win things to fill it.
    I love to entertain, and the Pear recipe looks amazing! Can not wait to try it!!
    Thanks for the contest!

  48. 72

    Megan S. says

    How does one prepare for the holidays? With grace and poise. Joking aside I try to make lists for everything that I have to do.

  49. 73

    Kat Poling says

    I have had a hard time getting prepared this year, I am only half done with gifts, lights are up outside (not many), NONE of my baking is done. On a brighter note, my husband got me a kitchenaid stand mixer the 5 quart one and let me open today so I will try to get started on cookies and pumpkin rolls tomorrow. I get my leg cast off Friday (broke it on 9-13-13) the 13th lol, go in hopefully for my last stent next week and maybe will get back to normal by Christmas. Can’t wait to get my decorations up but moving slow

  50. 75

    Brooklyn Dutson says

    Im not that organized.. but I am loving these freezer cookie dough ideas. as far as gifts I buy slowly through the year then wrap in december.

  51. 77

    Lauren cook says

    In my family we usually split up cooking tasks…and this year my mom, aunt, grandma and I are all getting together before Christmas to bake our family cookie recipes!

  52. 78

    Kelly D says

    I prepare ahead by creating a menu, buying the items I need well in advance and also asking family members to bring specific dishes that I know I won’t have time to make.

  53. 80

    Sharon says

    I make all the dough for the cookies and then freeze them so everything’s ready to go when we start the baking on the 23rd.

    I love the make Pears Belle Helene (Poires Belle Hélène). We have four Bartlett pear trees so I’m always looking for pear recipes.

  54. 82

    Eugenia Peterson says

    I always make sure I have a base number of how many people are expected over for our holiday dinner…and then I cook twice as much food. LOL works everytime!!!

  55. 83

    Barb B says

    Every year I say I’m going to shop and do Christmas cards earlier, and have time for lots of baking, but life gets in the way. Not everything gets done, but as long as we celebrate that Jesus is the reason for the season, and spend time with family and friends, it doesn’t matter!

  56. 84

    Edie says

    How I plan for the holidays? Freezer!!! I make ahead and freeze as much as possible: applesauce, cookies, soups.

  57. 85

    Wild Orchid says

    I make a recipe/meal plan in advance, and stock up on ingredients in advance.

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  58. 89

    Teresa P says

    I’m still trying to figure out how to perfectly prepare but for now I do a number of things such as make lists for everything and then check the list, cross off what I did and make a new list and then repeat until I’m done. Whew!

  59. 91

    Holly Simpson says

    We prepare for the holidays by taking it easy. No gift buying. No dinner parties. We outlawed gift giving (for the adults) a few years ago, and it’s the best. Every party is a potluck, so there’s minimal stress. Our holidays are more about who’s around the tree, rather than what’s under it.

    Plus, we can spend the extra money, we saved not buying gifts, to enjoy more restaurant meals with friends.

  60. 92


    :) You’re practically poetic with your perfectly precise alliteration :).

    And I’m not a great perfect holiday preparer, but I DO buy gifts throughout the year when I spot something that’s perfect for family or friends. It does help come Christmastime, that’s for sure.

    THANK YOU for offering this giveaway! PERFECT timing to counter some of this holiday gifting :).

  61. 96

    Susan C. says

    What a beautiful recipe! I think the best way I’ve found to keep ahead during the holidays is to stay organized. Print recipes, double check ingredients, and keep things organized and ready to go as needed.

  62. 97

    Laura says

    I am a retiring teacher due to medical issues. This year is the first year I have not gotten lots of goodies from my students and their wonderful Moms who bake them. Sad about that. But…. I realized that I had plenty of time and energy to spare… I made candies, bark, and lots of Chex mix for my daughter who is an Internal Auditor for a school system. I made goodie bags for all 37 Treasurers in her district and principals. Plus, I canned fresh apple butter with wonderful North Carolina apples for all of the Central Office folks and our friends and neighbors. It was a great way to prepare for the holidays!

  63. 98

    Kati says

    Pears are my all time favorite fruit. I am really looking forward to trying this recipe.

    I am a lister. I make lists for everything; recipes, groceries, presents, etc. They really help me stay on track and (most important) on budget

  64. 99

    Nicole Larsen says

    I make sure I have everything planned out at least a week before and have my in laws over to help!

  65. 101

    Lisa Brown says

    I prepare for the holidays by getting all I can done the day before so I am not rushed on the day.
    jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot com

  66. 104

    Megan says

    I prepare for the holidays by getting all of my christmas shopping done by thanksgiving. Also I plan out my menus and get all of my non-perishable menu items done ahead of time so that I don’t have to make a large grocery store trip when the stores are pack with everyone else out shopping!

  67. 107

    Wanda McHenry says

    I prepare for the holidays because we pretty much go by our family traditions and I know what needs to be done and it goes pretty smoothly. All recipes are kept in a “Christmas” folder for easy access.

  68. 111

    Norma says

    Perfectly prepare? I don’t. I try not to sweat the small stuff and just enjoy what’s really important.

  69. 112

    Mindy Merenghi says

    Perfectly prepare?! What’s that mean? ;) I just try to decorate early so I can enjoy all the work I put into it!

  70. 115

    Christina says

    I use lists to prepare ahead for the holidays, so I stay on track with what I need I do. This year I used evernote to sync across my phone and computer so they were always with me.

  71. 117

    Cynthia C says

    I look for recipes that can be prepared ahead of time to save time and stress.

  72. 119

    Mary W says

    I would not say that I have ever had a perfectly planned holiday season. But I am a big fan of making lists, lots of lists! And I like making or doing things ahead of time as much as possible.

  73. 121

    Sheila Vives says

    I prepare by planning my menu 2 months ahead and buying all needed ingredients early so I am not caught short.

  74. 123

    Kerry says

    Lots of list making helps me prepare – I try to do as much in advance as I can!

  75. 125

    Susan P. says

    This year I certainly did not perfectly prepare for the holidays. When my daughter came home from college for the holidays, we baked together but this year I did the least decorating of any year.

  76. 130

    Danielle says

    I love lists – lists save so much time and ensure that you have all the necessary ingredients ahead of time so you aren’t mid recipe and realize you need 3 eggs and only have 2 and then you’ve got a problem.

  77. 131

    Becky Richied says

    To prepare ahead, I try to get my baking done ahead of time, this year I didn’t clear out the house while doing it and the things just kept disappearing as fast as I could make them. I guess with a family of 12 that’s bound to happen though :) happy holidays!

  78. 134


    Perfecftly prepare?? Is there such a thing? LOL I just try to shop ahead as much as I can, stocking my freezer and pantry with the things I think I’ll need. Then get the fresh ingredients a few days before. That way I’m not fighting the holiday crowd to get what I need at the last minute!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

  79. 136


    The only thing I do to prepare in advance is know what I am going to cook weeks in advance so I can start shopping sooner for goodies.

  80. 139


    I have list for everything, so I can prepare lots a long way in advance, tick it off the list and know its done and I can move on. At the frantic time of year, it saves me so much time knowing I don’t have to keep checking up on things. Thanks for the giveaway.

  81. 142

    Harmony B says

    I wish I planned better but I do prep all foods I can the night before so all I have to do is put them in the oven.

  82. 144

    Anne says

    I’m not sure how perfect my plan is, but I start with lists and timetables, which helps me make sure I don’t get stuck having to rush at the last minute.

  83. 152

    Tabathia B says

    I try to plan ahead, do a lot of prep and have a menu planned for holiday entertaining and have my oldest two daughters take care of sides and appetizers

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  84. 154

    Sarah L says

    I shop year-round for presents. I try to do as much as I can beforehand.
    Thanks for the contest.

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