Our poached pears in white wine make for a brilliant dinner party dessert because they can be prepared ahead of time and simply warmed through when you want to serve. We’ve used mead for our poached pears in white wine which has subtle honey-like flavours but you could use another sweet white wine if you prefer. We like to serve the poached pears in white wine with crème fraiche because it helps cut through the sweetness, but if you’ve got a sweet tooth you could opt for ice cream. To add a bit of texture try serving with a sprinkling of toasted walnuts.
- 6 pears (we used Conference)
- 450ml Mead or similar sweet white wine
- 650ml water
- 120g caster sugar
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
- 4 cardamom pods
- pinch of saffron
- 200g forced rhubarb, cut into chunks
- crème fraiche, to serve
Peel the pears. In a saucepan, combine the mead, water, caster, lemon, vanilla pod, cardamom pods and saffron and bring to a slow rolling simmer. Simmer the pears for 7-10mins (this depends on the ripeness of your pears, very ripe pears will be closer to 7mins and less ripe 10 to 12).
Turn off the heat and remove the pears from the poaching syrup. Reduce the syrup for a few minutes and add the rhubarb for 2mins. Take off the heat and remove the rhubarb with a draining spoon (before it disintegrates). Serve each pear on a plate with rhubarb, sauce and a big dollop of crème fraiche.
Top Tip for making Poached pears in white wine
Mead is a great option with a luscious honey flavour. But don’t feel it’s the only option: sauternes or any other sweet white wine you have would be perfect too.