Merlot-poached pears with vanilla & cinnamon

Whole poached pears make an elegant dinner party dessert, with a red wine sauce and fragrant cinnamon and vanilla.

Prep 10 Minutes | Cook 1 Hour | Easy | Serves 4


750ml bottle Merlot or other red wine

200g golden caster sugar

2 cinnamon sticks, snapped in half

1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways then halved across to make 4 strips

4 firm pears, peeled


Tip the wine, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla into a deep medium pan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Add the pears, making sure they are fully covered by the wine, then simmer for 30 mins until they are just tender. If the pears are very ripe, they may be ready in 20 mins. Can be made up to 2 days ahead – leave the pears in the syrup in the fridge until you’re ready to finish the recipe.

Remove the pears from the pan with a slotted spoon and boil the syrup for 30 mins to reduce it and make it more syrupy. Cool, then chill for up to 2 days. Remove from the fridge 1 hr before serving.


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