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Hi Bold Bakers!
There are so many different ways to approach making alternative sweets and treats. So far, I’ve shared some of my favorite baked goods made without sugar, gluten, or wheat. From my Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies to my Easy Sugar Free Flourless Chocolate Cake, making these classic desserts better for you is really just a matter swapping out ingredients for healthier alternatives.
While I love baking up a storm and experimenting with new ingredients, there’s something so nice about taking natural ingredients and just enhancing their already lovely flavor! My Red Wine Poached Pears are a sophisticated approach to alternative sweets as this recipe is all about highlighting the natural flavor and sweetness of one the season’s best produce: Pears.
How to Poach Pears
I love to make Red Wine Poached Pears, as it’s really more of a method to learn than a recipe.
Similar to a braised savory dish, this is really all about making a super flavorful liquid to cook the pears in. The more care you give to the poaching liquid, the better the flavor of the finished product will be. Luckily, it only takes a few ingredients and a bit of time to make.
My poached pears include the flavors of red wine, chai tea, and orange. Think mulled wine, or even sangria, meets sweet tender fruit. The spices in the chai tea bags infuse into the wine, adding a depth of flavor — and a bit of fresh squeezed orange really brings the whole thing to life. Then, after the peeled pears sit in the simmering liquid for about 30-40 minutes, you’re left with ruby red whole poached pears.
These Red Wine Poached Pears look every bit as good as they taste. I love to serve these for special occasions, like holiday or New Year’s celebrations, because they look incredibly festive and impressive.
What if I Don’t Want To Use Red Wine?
If you’ve never had red wine poached pears, and for some reason it doesn’t appeal to you because of the alcohol, let me first assure you all of the alcohol cooks off and you’re left with a super flavorful thick syrup. If you would like to make poached pears with out the red wine, though, you can replace the liquid with water or apple juice. This liquid will still be infused with the orange and chai tea making for a more spiced poached pear flavor and thinner sauce.
To do this, simply follow the exact same cooking method, but swap out the wine!
Why I Used Coconut Sugar In My Red Wine Poached Pears
This is one of the first recipes I’ve shared that includes coconut sugar instead of a monkfruit based sweetener (though, this recipe still uses a little bit of Lakanto Maple Syrup). In this case, I find the coconut sugar really makes all the difference in the texture of the red wine syrup as this sugar caramelizes and thickens the sauce. If I were to use a sugar alternative instead, I might be left with a thinner sauce. Since this dessert is already very light in nature, I don’t mind the addition off the sugar as long as it is not a refined sugar.
How to Serve Poached Pears
The best part of this dessert is that the red wine and the pears really do all of the work. You don’t need to worry about the pears when they are poaching, you simply let them simmer away.
When ready to serve, the pears and poaching liquid STILL do all of the work. The pears will take on a shiny, almost glazed look from sitting in the red wine, and the syrup look so nice drizzled over the whole pear. I like to serve the red wine poached pears with a dollop of coconut yogurt, or vanilla ice cream.
How to Store Poached Pears
My Red Wine Poached Pears are great to make in advance, as they get better after sitting in the liquid overnight. I like to store these in an airtight container in the fridge. They can be made a day or 2 in advance, and will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
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Red Wine Poached Pearas
- 3 cups (24floz/675ml) red wine
- 1/2 cup (3 oz/85g) coconut sugar, date sugar or lakanto Brown Sugar
- orange, juiced
- 2 chai tea bags
- 2 tablespoons Lakanto Maple Syrup, maple syrup or honey
- 5 firm pears
- coconut yogurt, mascarpone, or vanilla ice cream for serving
- orange zest, for garnish
- In a large pot over medium heat, combine the red wine, coconut sugar, orange juice, tea bags, and Lakanto Syrup. All to simmer for about 10 minutes while you peel the pears.
- Peel the pears, leaving the stems in tact. Slice a tiny bit off the bottom of each pear, this will create a flat surface for the pears to stand up when being served.
- Place the pears in the red wine poaching liquid and allow to poach with the top on for about 30-40 minutes, turning the pears once in between to ensure the whole pear is even in color.
- After about 30 minutes, or when the pears are red and tender, gently remove from the liquid and set aside.
- Cover the pot and reduce the remaining liquid by about half, until you have a thick syrup that coats the back of a spoon. This should take 10-15 minutes.
- Serve the pears sliced in half, or whole, with coconut yogurt, mascarpone, or vanilla ice cream. Drizzle a bit of the red wine syrup over each one then top with orange zest.
- Cover and store leftover pears in the reduced poaching liquid in the fridge for up to 3 days.