Pears Poached In Port from a Burgundy Cooking Vacation

December 11, 2020  |  By Peg Kern
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Poached pears on a French cooking vacationPears poached in port – In the spirit of Christmas cheer, chef Robert Ash, one of our favorite collaborators, offers this recipe for pears poached in port. It will serve six and is a lighter alternative to the usual desserts, as well as looking beautiful on the plate. Peace, happiness (and good eating) for Christmas and the New Year!

See all our cooking vacations in Burgundy. 

Pears Poached in Port

Serves: 6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Cook method: Poaching


  • 6 firm green underripe pears with stalks
  • 113g/4 oz caster sugar
  • 280ml/half pint of red wine
  • 140ml/quarter pint of port wine
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • zest of a lemon or an orange


1. Peel the pears, then take a thin slice off the bottom of each one so it stands upright. Using a small narrow-bladed knife, cut halfway into the neck of the pear just above the bulbous part and above the core. Be careful not to cut right through. Then use a corer to remove the core from the base of the pear. The cut you have made above the core will enable you to remove the core without disturbing the stalk.

2. Place the pears into a high-sided saucepan that will hold them tightly. It should not be deep enough for them to float. Put all the ingredients into the saucepan and top up with water to just below the stalks.

3. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to a simmer. Poach for 30-45 minutes or until the pears are tender. This will depend on their variety and ripeness.

4. Leave to cool slightly, then carefully remove the pears to a shallow dish. Bring the syrup to the boil again and reduce until it coats the back of a spoon. Let the syrup cool to tepid and pour it over the pears. Chill, spooning the syrup over the pears from time to time.

Cook with Chef Robert on a fabulous Burgundy culinary vacation. 

By Peg Kern

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