Pears in Red Wine with Parmesan Crisps

Curtis Stone creates a spectacular dessert of pears cooked in a spicy red wine sauce, served with crisp Parmesan wafers
By Curtis Stone
Pears in Red Wine with Parmesan Crisps
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1.1666666666666667 hours 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus cooling
  • Effort: medium



  • 4 pears
  • 75cl bottle red wine
  • 100 ml port
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • Thinly pared strip of orange rind
  • Thinly pared strip of lemon rind
  • Thinly pared strip of lime zest
  • 100 g parmesan, finely grated, plus extra for shavings


1. Peel the pears leaving the stalk intact. Using a melon baller, cut away the core from the base.

2. Pour the red wine and port into a large saucepan. Stir in the cinnamon, star anise, honey, sugar and citrus peels.

3. Put the pears in the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 30-50 minutes, depending on how ripe your pears are, until tender. Leave the pears in the liquid until completely cool.

4. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 5. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking parchment.

5. Place pastry cutter on the baking sheet. Sprinkle into the cutter enough grated Parmesan to cover the surface. Lift off the cutter. Repeat to make seven more Parmesan circles.

6. Bake for 4-5 minutes, until the Parmesan has melted. Allow to cool.

7. Remove the pears from the liquid using a perforated spoon. Fish out the spices and citrus peels.

8. Bring the red wine to the boil, then boil rapidly for 10 minutes until thickened and reduced by half.

9. Lay a pear on its side with the stalk end pointing away from you. Using a sharp knife, and cutting at an angle, slice off the top third.

10. Turn the pear round so the bottom end is pointing away from you. Cutting at an opposite angle to the first cut, slice about three quarters of the way across the bottom third, without detaching it completely. Repeat with the remaining pears.

11. To reassemble the pears, insert a Parmesan circle in the bottom cut. Stand the pear upright on a serving plate. Place a second Parmesan circle on the exposed cut surface, then stack the top third of the pear on top. Repeat with the remaining pears.

12. Drizzle the reduced syrup around the edge of the plates. Serve with Parmesan shavings if liked.

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