Poached pears in red wine syrup

Trish Deseine's version of this classic French dessert features a sticky syrup spiced with cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla
By Trish Deseine
Poached pears in red wine syrup
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 kg pears
  • 750 ml red wine
  • 300 g caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 2 oranges

Tips and Suggestions

Try, if you can, to use small pears, because they soak up the flavours of the syrup better than larger fruit.


1. Combine the red wine and sugar in a large saucepan and place over a gentle heat. Lightly crush the cinnamon and cardamom to release their flavours and add them to the pan. Split the vanilla pod lengthways down the middle and add it too. Bring the saucepan to the boil.

2. Carefully peel the pears, leaving the stalks on so that they look pretty when serving. Add them to the hot syrup.

3. Pare the zest from one orange, then squeeze its juice, and add both to the pan. Slice the other orange and add it to the pan as well.

4. Keep the pan at a quiet simmer and let the syrup reduce for about 40 minutes. If after 30 minutes-or-so the pears are cooked but the syrup is still a little runny, then take the fruit out and keep simmering the syrup until it's really lovely and sticky.

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