Prime time for pears

It’s autumn in Sydney. The change in season has brought rainy days but also a change in the produce available. The fruits of the summer – mangoes and berries – have been replaced by apples, peaches and pears. Pears are the least expensive fruit at the moment so I buy a lot of them. What do you do with a kitchen full of pears, you ask? Try poaching them.
For some, poached pears may conjure up bad memories of old-fashioned desserts - overcooked and mushy fruits drowning in far too much sugary syrup. But don’t be fooled: poached fruit can be a light alternative to heavy and creamy desserts and it can be a beautiful dish to impress friends with at dinner parties.  
To add richness to an otherwise cheap dessert, use a delicious, dark red wine (a wine you would drink) and fresh, strongly scented spices like star anise, vanilla bean and whole green cardamom.
When in season pears are already very sweet so I just add some honey to bring out their flavour, which also gives the perfect stickiness factor to enrich the dark red winey syrup. 

honey and wine spiced pears
serves 4

4 firm pears (use any type but I used Bartlett)
full bodied red wine* – use enough to cover pears (1/2 bottle or more)
1 tbsp organic honey
2 green cardamom pods – crushed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 vanilla bean – scraped
1 star anise

Peel pears and place into small pot.  Cover pears with red wine (dilute with water if desired), add honey and spices.  Place pot onto medium heat and simmer pears until just soft or a knife inserts easily into flesh. Once cooked, keep poaching liquid in pot, remove pears and keep aside. Reduce poaching liquid until thick and syrupy (make sure to watch as it can burn).  Plate pears and pour a little syrup on top.  I served these alone but you could also serve with gelato/ice cream and/or biscuits. Enjoy.

*if using all wine is too strong for your taste, add some water to dilute


  1. such beautiful photos your presentation is fantastic!

  2. Lovely post and beautiful photos! Its approaching Spring here in Seattle but for some reason the pears are still in full force, I have a bowl-full right now just waiting to be poached. Thanks for sharing!

  3. These are gorgeous photos - making me so nostalgic for the summer!

  4. Your pics look amazing Bhavani! Your blog is like art...

  5. Hi everyone - thanks for the wonderfully kind words.

  6. Amazing picture! Your pears look delicious!

  7. Looks and sounds divine!

  8. Thanks for the friend add, your photos are some of the best I have seen, really aspirational! I love cooking with the seasons too but have just started with the Spring here in Spain so it's all asparagus, leeks, peas & lettuces at the moment. I love the fact that I can simultaneously relive the Autumn through you!!

  9. What a lovely dessert! The flavors sound so wonderful with the spices and red wine. I bet this is a crowd-pleaser for sure!

  10. Always one of my favorite desserts...looks beautiful!

  11. It's so great to discover your work/ blog via Aurélie's blog Pause Gourmande! I will definitely come back... your pictures are gorgeous !