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White Wine Poached Pears

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White Wine Poached Pears

White Wine Poached Pears
New Media Publishing / Photography: Flat Art / Stylist: Abigail Donnelly
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total prep
You won't need a centerpiece if you serve up a big bowl of these golden, spiced pears on the Thanksgiving table. Don't skip the saffron-it's the key to their vibrant hue.


  • 5 cups white wine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 (2- by 1-inch strips) lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3 Turkish bay leaves
  • 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
  • 6 firm-ripe Bartlett pears
  • Special equipment: parchment paper


  • In a large pot combine wine, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, peppercorns, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cloves, and saffron and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.
  • While syrup simmers, peel pears, then halve lengthwise and core. Add pears to syrup, then cover with a round of parchment paper and simmer until pears are tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 15 minutes. Transfer pears and syrup to a metal or ceramic bowl, then recover parchment and refrigerate.
  • Cook's note; pears could be served warm, immediately, however, they have more depth of flavor and color if refrigerated overnight. Take pears out of refrigerator several hours before serving, to come to room temperature.