Port Wine Poached Pears

Fresh pears, poached in a mixture of port wine, lemon and spices, make a sophisticated, flavorful dessert and a beautiful presentation.

Port Wine Poached Pears

Port Wine Poached Pears

4.7 from 3 votes
Leave a Review »
Poached in a mixture of port wine and spices, these pears make a beautiful, elegant dessert for holiday and special occasions.


  • 6 medium, barely ripe pears (Bartlett, Anjou, Bosc)
  • 3-1/2 cups port wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 6 large strips lemon zest, 1/2-inch wide x 2-inches long
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 whole cloves


  • Place the port, water, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon peel, cinnamon stick and cloves in a deep saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Meanwhile, peel the pears, leaving the stems on. Using a melon baller or small spoon, carefully hollow out the core and seeds through the bottom. Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each pear so that they’ll stand upright for serving.
  • Place the pears in the pan and lower the heat to medium so that the liquid simmers gently. Cook, turning gently and basting every 3 minutes for even flavor and color, until the pears are tender when pierced with a thin knife, 12 to 18 minutes. Be careful not to overcook. Remove from the heat and allow them to cool for 10 minutes in the liquid.
  • Transfer the pears to a platter and continue cooking the poaching liquid until it reduces to the consistency of maple syrup. To serve, make a small pool of syrup on each serving plate, set a pear on top and drizzle with a bit of extra syrup.

Tips for Making This Recipe

Recipe Notes:

The pears can be made ahead and refrigerated. Just bring them to room temperature before serving. You may need to warm the syrup to pouring consistency.
Have you made this recipe?Snap a photo and tag @gourmetconnect in your posts. We love to see what you’ve been making!