These Poached Pears with Pinot are a perfectly paired palate pleaser for any special occasion, don’t you think? Precisely.

Poached Pears

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 special occasions and during 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.

Over the years, our kitchen appliances, especially our KitchenAid® cooktop, has been through the works. Hands-down, cooking with a gas cooktop is my favorite, and this KitchenAid® has served us well. 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? A girl can dream.

How to Make Poached Pears with Pinot

Until then, let’s talk Poached Pears. This is a super easy recipe. The process begins by boiling Pinot wine, water and brown sugar together. While that is beginning to simmer away, prep and peel the pears. A few tips for peeling those precious pears: Peel the pears, leaving the stems on, then core the bottom blossom end, and finally, if it’s a wobbly pear, like some pears tend to be, slice off a sliver of the bottom so it will stand perfectly perpendicular to a plate.

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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.

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.

During the simmering, gently turn the pears so they can bathe altogether in the Pinot poaching party. 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. Poached Pears are so pretty!

Poached Pears

Continue cooking the poaching liquid at a low boil until liquid reduces, and becomes more syrupy. When the poaching liquid has thickened up, strain it over the patiently waiting pears. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, or ready to serve.

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

These pretty Poached Pears with Pinot is a pleasing dessert that any person would positively enjoy! I know I did.

Poached Pears with Pinot Recipe

Poached Pears

Poached Pears with Pinot

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

A sophisticated dessert that is very easy to make.


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups Pinot
  • 3/4 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
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 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.

Did you make this recipe?

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Updated 2/1/15. Originally posted 12/2/13.

This post was sponsored by KitchenAid®. As always, all opinions are my own.