Mulled Wine Poached Pears

These poached pears make an easy festive dessert. Not only very simple to make, you’ll find they’re a true crowd pleaser!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Course Dessert
Servings 6
Dairy Free, Gluten Free


Poached pears

  • 750 ml bottle red wine
  • cups water or orange juice with no pulp
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2-3 whole star anise
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence or seeds from 1 vanilla pod
  • 3 bay leaves
  • orange peel and juice of 1
  • lemon peel and juice of 1
  • ½ cup honey liquid
  • ½ cup brown sugar or pure maple syrup
  • 6 pears e.g. Burre Bosc, but any variety will do, firm just-ripe

Spiced mascarpone

  • ¾ cup creme fraiche mascarpone, clotted cream or thick Greek yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice


  • In a medium to large sized pot, combine all poached pear ingredients, except the pears, and stir together.
  • Peel pears as nicely as you can with a vegetable peeler. Slice 1cm off the bottom of each pear (this is so they can stand upright when plated)
  • Put pears, on their sides, in the pot – they should just about be fully covered with liquid.
  • Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently, partially covered, for 1 ½ – 2 hours, or until pears are tender and a deep ruby red colour, and the liquid has reduced. Baste pears with the syrup a few times during cooking and check that the liquid is not reducing too fast that they start burning on the bottom of the pot. Turn the pears over at least once during cooking so that both sides have a turn being fully submerged in the liquid.
  • Carefully remove pears and set aside. Boil liquid for 5-10 minutes or until thick and syrupy.
  • Mix creme fraiche/mascarpone/clotted cream/yoghurt with mixed spice.
  • Serve pears with syrup drizzled over and spiced cream on the side. Alternatively, serve with vanilla ice cream.


As the spiced wine infuses into the pears your house will start smelling like Christmas!
The best part about poached pears are how wickedly simple they are to prepare – yet you’ll serve up a dessert that looks a million bucks!