Recipe: pears poached in red wine

Because you’ve been very good, I’m going to give you one of my favourite easy dessert recipes. I mean, you could do this blindfolded (don’t). It’s ridiculously easy, but hugely satisfying, and a completely fuss-free option for finishing off a supper with friends. While it’s perhaps a little Autumnal, so is the weather. Cool, richly flavoured pear, hot spiced sugar syrup, and the chill of a vanilla-flecked ice cream make this a real crowd-pleaser.

This particular recipe is for 4 people, but it’s easy to adapt the quantities accordingly.


Pears poached in red wine

4 firm pears, peeled and with stalks in tact
500ml red wine
1 vanilla pod, split
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
125g caster sugar
2 tbsp honey
Peel and juice of 1 orange

1. Put all of the ingredients apart from the pears into a saucepan and head until the sugar dissolves.

2. Slice the bottoms off the pears to make sure they stand upright, and place in the saucepan. If you like it, then you should put a lid on it. For 25-30 minutes to be precise, allowing it to simmer.

3. Turn the heat off and let the pears sit in the liquid for at least two hours to fully infuse them with the liquid.

4. When you’re ready to serve, simply plate up the pears, then bring the remaining syrup to a boil. Pour it over the pears and serve with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. If you’re going commercial, it HAS to be Green & Black’s, which is the very best store bought vanilla ice cream I’ve ever had.

Happy cooking! Coming up soon, a veggie bangers and mash recipe, burger chat, and Ben Ainslie’s boat.