Red Wine & Cranberry Poached Pears
While being poached, the pear absorbs the sweetness and spice from the sugar, wine, cinnamon and peppercorn. It makes an easy, yet elegant, dessert that's perfect for a special night. —Kiersten Atkinson, Birmingham, Alabama
Total TimePrep: 10 min. Cook: 25 min. + standing
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 lemon zest strip (about 2 inches wide)
- 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
- 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 4 medium Bosc pears (about 6 ounces each)
- Creme fraiche or sour cream, optional
- In a large saucepan, bring the first 6 ingredients to a boil; add cranberries. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, core pears from bottom, leaving stems intact. Peel pears. Add to pan, in a single layer on their sides. Simmer, uncovered, until pears are almost tender, about 10 minutes longer, turning occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes.
- Drain pears; reserving poaching liquid and cranberries. Remove peppercorns. Place pears on dessert plates; drizzle with reserved poaching liquid. Top with cranberries and crème fraiche, if desired.