Photo of Chianti Poached Pear by Mario
Time to sweeten up your weekend!
This dessert recipe is based on an old French classic, but with an Italian twist – we are going to use an Italian wine, particularly Chianti, rather than a French one.
The reason for using Chianti in this recipe is its characteristics. Overall, Chianti is a medium-bodied red wine with firm tannins, as well as floral and light nutty notes. The balance between all of those characteristics is absolutely perfect for poaching pears – medium body of the wine gives depth of flavour, tannins are not overpowering, and the delicate notes enhance the flavour of the fruit itself.
Speaking of the fruit, I like to use Conference Pears for this recipe. Mainly because they remain firm after poaching (as long as you stick to the recipe and cooking time), but they also have a grate and almost ‘regular’ shape.
To spice the wine, I went for spices like cinnamon and vanilla, among a few others. Cinnamon in mostly composed of carbohydrates, which half of is fibre. It is also a rich source of Calcium and Iron.
Poached pears can be enjoyed in many, many ways – on their own, with ice cream, sorbet, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, or perhaps used as a decoration for your cakes and bakes, when cut into desired shapes, sizes or pieces 🙂
Chianti Poached Pears
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: approx. 15 minutes + cooling time
Total time: approx. 25 minutes + cooling time
Recipe by Tom
- 2 whole pears (see notes)
- 750 ml chianti (red wine)
- 200 g caster sugar
- 3 clove buds
- 3 allspice berries
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Peel the pears and remove the seeds (see notes).
- Place pears in a pan, pour in the wine, add sugar, clove, allspice, cinnamon and vanilla extract.
- Bring to the boil and simmer for approx. 10 minutes.
- Take it off of the heat and set aside to cool for 20 – 30 minutes.
- Pears are now ready (see notes).
- You can have poached pears as they are – whole; or ‘fanned out’: cut pears in half, lengthwise (from top to bottom), then lay them both down on a chopping board. Cut each pear piece into ‘sections’ (starting about a centimetre from the top, all the way down to the bottom end), then transfer onto a plate and spread the ‘sections’ out.
- Poaching liquid can be reduced down to a sauce (reducing means boiling/simmering the liquid until desired thickness – this happens because of evaporation of the water content, while retaining and intensifying the flavour).
- My poached pears go really well with Prosecco and Lemon Sorbet – keep your eyes peeled, the recipe will be posted soon!
- Check your pears before cooking – if they are soft, they might cook in less than 10 minutes; if they are quite firm, they might need longer than 10 minutes.
- Removing the seeds – using a melon baller, start from the bottom of the pear and gradually make your way through the flesh and the seeds, until all is removed. A typical melon baller comes with two different sized scoops, one on each end, so use the bigger one first, and then the smaller one to finish the job.
- Poached pears can be enjoyed both hot and cold/room temperature. If you fancy a hot poached pear, just heat them up in the poaching liquid, however there’s no need to bring them up to the boil, because firstly, they’re already cooked, and secondly, they might get too soft (for the presentation purposes).