Crème de Cassis and Red Wine Poached Pears

poached pears

These deep burgundy pears take on their rich hue from poaching in a bit of cassis (black currant liqueur), but there is also a whole bottle of red wine in this recipe. As shocking or extravagant as that might seem, it is a necessary part. You will be rewarded with a stunningly beautiful fruit dessert – best served to adults. Try these poached pears along with a crisp, buttery cookie on the side or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Image: Peter Muka

Crème de Cassis and Red Wine Poached Pears
Makes: Serves 6
  • 6 ripe but firm pears, Bartlett, Anjou or Comice
  • 1, 750-ml bottle of dry red wine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup crème de cassis
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Wide strips of peel from a whole lemon
  • 1, 3-inch cinnamon stick
  1. Peel the pears, leaving stems intact. Use a paring knife to cut out a small cone shape from the bottom of the fruit (about ½-inch into the fruit), removing any hard bits and the bottom of the core; set aside.
  2. Place the wine, sugar, lemon juice and peel, cassis and cinnamon stick in a deep pot (pears should be able to submerge). Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally to help sugar dissolve. Add pears and simmer, covered, until a thin paring knife can be inserted easily, from 20 to 40 minutes depending on pear’s ripeness.
  3. Carefully remove the pears with a slotted spoon and place somewhere temporarily – we use a pie plate.
  4. Bring the juice to a rapid boil and cook uncovered until reduced and syrupy. (You should be left with about 2 ½ cups of liquid). Cool the syrup.
  5. Pears and syrup can be refrigerated together for up to 3 days in airtight container. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.



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