Merlot-poached pears with vanilla & cinnamon

Merlot-poached pears with vanilla & cinnamon

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(7 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 1 hr plus chilling


Serves 4

Whole poached pears make an elegant dinner party dessert, with a red wine sauce and fragrant cinnamon and vanilla

Nutrition and extra info

  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal399
  • fat0g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs65g
  • sugars65g
  • fibre4g
  • protein1g
  • salt0.1g
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  • 750ml bottle Merlot or other red wine
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, snapped in half
  • 1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways then halved across to make 4 strips
  • 4 firm pears, peeled



    Like apples, to which they are related, pears come in thousands of varieties, of which only a…


  1. Tip the wine, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla into a deep medium pan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Add the pears, making sure they are fully covered by the wine, then simmer for 30 mins until they are just tender. If the pears are very ripe, they may be ready in 20 mins. Can be made up to 2 days ahead – leave the pears in the syrup in the fridge until you’re ready to finish the recipe.

  2. Remove the pears from the pan with a slotted spoon and boil the syrup for 30 mins to reduce it and make it more syrupy. Cool, then chill for up to 2 days. Remove from the fridge 1 hr before serving.

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Comments, questions and tips

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6th Jun, 2016
I added less sugar to the recipe and served pears with vanilla ice cream. It was soooo delicious.
28th Feb, 2015
I cooked this in the slow cooker for 5 hours and it is delicious. I used 6 x Conference pears but the same amount of wine, sugar, etc as shown in the recipe.
23rd Dec, 2017
Perhaps I am being stupid - but how can you keep the pears under the wine - they keep floating to the surface. Also, they take a lot longer to cook to a tender state than the recipe suggests.
goodfoodteam's picture
24th Dec, 2017
Thanks for your question. They may well bob to the top. You can always flip them over a few times during cooking to ensure they're completely cooked. Generally 30 mins would be sufficient but if they were extremely firm, they may take longer.
23rd Oct, 2017
If making ahead, do you re-heat the pears and sauce before serving? How and for how long?
goodfoodteam's picture
27th Oct, 2017
Thanks for your question. You can either make up to 2 days ahead as in step 1 or in step 2, either way the recipe is served at room temperature so there's no need to reheat it last minute.
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