Cranberry and Red Wine Poached Pears

Fall is the perfect time for pears and cranberries. These cranberry and red wine poached pears are a perfect dessert to kick off the season. They are bound to impress your dinner guests. 

Have you ever wanted a dessert that looks like you took ages to make it but took very little effort? These poached pears are the perfect solution. Just peel them and pour the liquid over and bake. That’s it! 

Additionally these can be eaten by themselves providing a a very light dessert or you can slice them in half or quarters and serve on a pastry or a light cake.  They are best served cold. Ice cream or crème fraiche works well with these also. 

In this recipe

The cranberries and pears are the star of the show. With the addition of the red wine the pears take on a lovely burgundy color and additional depth of flavor. 

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This recipe uses Bosc pears. It is important to use these pears versus D’Anjou and Bartlett. The reason for this is that these other pears don’t hold their shape as well. Bartlett pears especially tend to break down when cooked so you might end up with pear mush. 

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Poached pears?

Poaching is a method of cooking that submerges food either partially or fully in a liquid. This is a gentle way of cooking the food that might be prone to fall apart using other methods. The poaching liquid will add the flavor to the food so it is important to have a well flavored liquid. 

Cranberry and Red Wine Poached Pears in poaching liquid
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In order to get the most intense flavors possible for these pears it is important to let the poaching liquid reduce before adding it to the pears. The poaching liquid might not cover the whole pear and that is ok. Occasionally baste the pears with the poaching liquid. 

As time goes on you will notice the pears getting darker in color. Once they are tender enough that a fork or toothpick goes in easily they are done. They should still be firm. 

You can serve these warm or at room temperature, however I like them chilled. Mainly because it give the pears more time to develop flavors and they are just a little more firm when serving this way. 

Cranberry and Red Wine Poached Pears
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Cranberry Poached Pear featured image
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Cranberry and Red Wine Poached Pears

An elegant pear dessert in a cranberry and red wine sauce with cinnamon and cloves.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 8 servings
Calories 282 kcal


  • Saucepan
  • Dutch oven
  • Potato peeler


  • 8 Bosc pears
  • 2 cups cranberries fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 whole cloves
  • cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest


  • Preheat the oven to 350° or gas mark 4.
  • In a saucepan add the sugars, wine, water, lemon zest, cinnamon stick, cranberries and cloves. Bring to a boil and reduce the liquid to 4 cups.
  • While the poaching liquid is reducing, using a sharp knife or potato peeler remove the skin of the pears as thinly as possible. Slice off a small amount of bottom of the pear just so it stands up when set in the Dutch oven.
  • In the Dutch oven add all of the pears and then pour the poaching liquid over the pears. The liquid may not cover the pears and that is ok. Baste the pears every 15 minutes. Bake until a fork or toothpick easily pierces the pear. The pear should still be a little firm, about an hour.
  • Strain the poaching liquid. This can be reduced to a thicker sauce to become a glaze or can be served with the pear as is.


Serving: 1pearCalories: 282kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 13mgPotassium: 329mgFiber: 7gSugar: 49gVitamin A: 61IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimer*
Keyword Fall, Pear, Poach, Wine
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