Photo of Poached Pears in Red Wine by WW

Poached Pears in Red Wine

Points® value
Total Time
34 min
10 min
24 min
Fresh pears are nice but sometimes pears poached in a citrus and vanilla-spiked wine sauce are even nicer.


Red wine

14 fl oz, fruity-variety


½ cup(s)


cup(s), preferably mild

Vanilla extract

1 tsp(s)


¼ tsp(s), use 6 whole peppercorns

Orange zest

4 tsp(s), divided, or to taste


6 medium, peeled, cored and halved*


  1. In a large heavy pot, combine wine, water, honey, vanilla, peppercorns and 2 teaspoons of orange zest; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until honey is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  2. Place pear halves in syrup; cover pot and poach over a low heat, turning pear halves occasionally. After about 10 minutes, test for doneness with a fork: pears should be just tender. Poach longer, if needed. The timing will vary depending on variety and ripeness of pears.
  3. Let pears cool in wine sauce; turn them once or twice while cooling to give them a nice even colour. Sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons of zest before serving. Yields 2 pear halves per serving.


*You can use any kind of pears (or even apples) in this recipe.For a nice touch, reduce the poaching liquid by half to form a thicker syrup that you can spoon over the pears before serving.It’s easy to change the flavour, too, by adding a cinnamon stick and two whole cloves instead of the vanilla and peppercorns.The poached pears can be refrigerated, in a covered glass dish, for several days. Sprinkle with the 2 teaspoons of zest just before serving.