It is easy to make poached pears in wine.    It is a delicious light dessert or side-dish for anyone from young to old, including those on a full liquid diet. As long as the pears are cooked soft. The simmering time very much depends on the type of pear that is used. Times range from 20 minutes for Conference pears to 3 hours for Giezer Wildemannen pears. The latter have an excellent storage time in a cool cellar.

The art of making poached pears in wine

There is really not much magic. Use good tasting hand pears or use the cooking pears and poach  until they are soft. Never use bruised parts in the dish.  The poaching takes place at lower temperatures than 100 C, because the alcohol in the wine is slowly cooking off and alcohol and water form a so-called azeotrope, at a lower temperature than boiling water. This leaves different fragrances to the dish. The pears should be peeled, and the pits removed. I prefer to simmer the pears in quarts, but you can use your preference. For decoration you can leave some of the stalks on the pears or cut them through in half.

Special equipment

  • none


poaching pears photo: ©️Nel Brouwer-van den Bergh

Poached pears in wine

Prep Time 10 minutes
Course Condiment, Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 6



  • 2 lbs 14 oz (1.3 kg) pears
  • 3.5 oz (100 g) sugar
  • 4 slices of lemon seeds removed
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 2 inch cinnamon sticks
  • 1 1/2 cup Alsatian wine (Riesling, Gewurztraminer)



  • Peel the pears, slice in quarts and remove the bell’s house and seeds
  • Cut one vanilla pod open over the length with a sharp knife and scrape out the vanilla ‘caviar’
  • Place the pears in the wine with the lemon slices, the sugar, the vanilla caviar and the remaining vanilla pod and the cinnamon in a pan optionally add some water and bring to the boil
  • Simmer for around 20-40 min until the pears are soft, but not broken
  • Cool down and use as compote or for dessert. Store in the refrigerator for maximum a week.


Method: poaching
Food allergy & intolerance information: none
Keyword Full liquid diet, Poached pears



  1. The use of some wine will keep the poaching temperature below 85 C, until most of the alcohol has evaporated. If you do not like to use the alcohol, just leave it out.
  2. If you cannot find the wines from the Alsace, use another white wine. Even making it with red wine is nice.

Leave A Comment

Recipe Rating