These red wine poached pears make the perfect dessert; they can cook as you prepare dinner, they reheat easily, and the orange-scented whipped cream adds the perfect amount of richness. This dessert is not too sweet or too decadent which is perfect if you’re serving it after a meal that is on the richer side (like we did here with this filet mignon and brown-butter mashed potato dinner).
Depending on the ripeness of your pears, you may need to adjust the cook time slightly. Our pears were quite firm, so we cooked them for about 40 minutes total.
Skill Level: Easy
Time to Make: 50 minutes (40 minutes inactive)
INGREDIENTS FOR RED WINE POACHED PEARS
4 Bosc pears
1-3/4 cup red wine, such as Zinfandel or Shiraz
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 1-inch peels of lemon rind
3/4 cup granulated sugar, more or less, depending on your taste
ORANGE-SCENTED WHIPPED CREAM
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 teaspoons orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 teaspoons powdered sugar, depending on how sweet you want the cream to be
Prepare Ingredients: Peel the pears, cut in half, and remove the seeds.
Prepare Orange-Scented Whipped Cream: Add the heavy cream to a metal mixing bowl and beat with mixers until soft and creamy. Folk in the sugar, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla, and beat for another 30 seconds or so until the mixture is thickened and soft peaks form. Cover and transfer to the fridge for up to 3 hours. Note: You may need to whisk the cream again prior to serving.
Poach the Pears: In a medium pot, combine the red wine, granulated sugar, ground cloves, ground cinnamon, vanilla, and lemon rind. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the pears and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, gently flip the pears and cook an additional 20 minutes. Note: Depending on how firm your pears are, you may need to increase the cooking time. The pears should be cooked until a fork can pass through easily. If you need to continue cooking, flip the pears occasionally.
Once the pears have finished cooking, gently transfer them to a serving platter. Discard the lemon rind in the pot. Bring the pot to a boil and cook for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is reduced and the sauce is thick and almost syrupy. Remove from heat and spoon the sauce over the pears. Keep warm.
To Serve: Arrange two pear halves in a bowl along with a few spoonfuls of the sauce. Serve with a dollop of cream on top.