An Ode to Poached Pears


Ahhh, Thanksgiving dinner… The moment after all the buying, preparation and time spent rooted in the kitchen, the dinner is finally served to much exclaim.Of course “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”. The time when silence falls over the table, and family and guests savor with gusto the bounty of food, on their hopefully pre-warmed plates.

Lately, I’ve been bombarded by on line recipes for pumpkin and pecan pies. It makes me question how many variations there are of these standard holiday desserts.So this year, I’m bucking tradition and making pears poached in red wine sauce instead.

It’s a recipe that my Mother handed down to me, which is particularly significant to me because she passed away this year at 93. She was a fabulous cook, who rarely followed recipes or wrote hers down. So I was fortunate that she took pen in hand and recorded this one.

It has all three “E’s” necessary for it to be a must try recipe. It’s easy, epic and extremely edible. It is also perfectly offsets the rich and calorie-laden dishes that precede it.

If you only knew what I add to mashed potatoes to make them melt in your mouth, you would be (borrowing a term from the very amusing and must read blog, The Vintage Contessa) “gobsmacked”.

Here goes:

This recipe is for 4 hungry souls

What you’ll need:

2 cups of dry red wine, such as cabernet or merlot

1 orange, juiced

1 cinnamon stick

6 ounces of red currant jelly

4 firm, ripe pears (such as Bartlett)

1 slice of orange peel`

What to do:

-In a 4-quart saucepan, combine wine, orange juice, cinnamon stick and red currant jelly

-Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes

-While the liquid is simmering peel pears, leaving the stems intact

-Slice ½ an inch off the bottom of the pears to create a flat bottom

-Gently place pears in poaching liquid cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes to ensure even color, until pears are cooked though but still firm.

-Remove saucepan from flame, uncover and cool upright in the pan.

-Once cool, cover and chill in refrigerator for at 3 hours or up to 24 hours, turning occasionally.

-Gently remove pears from liquid and allow them to come to room temperature.

-Meanwhile reduce liquid by about half over a medium-high flame for 15 minutes, until liquid is thicker and slightly syrupy.

-Remove from flame and let liquid come to room temperature.

-Drizzle each pear with about 2 tablespoons syrup and serve.


Bon Appetit!



Tag along as I share musings on everything from family to business, which will hopefully inspire you and stir the mind. I am happy that you are along for the journey. Here’s to Living Lively!


  • Lou Ann
    November 22, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Yum – sounds delicious. But can I still have a little pumpkin pie as well?
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  • Jennifer
    November 23, 2016 at 4:21 am

    Lou Ann, you’re are the absolute best. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

    November 23, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    THANK YOU for the mention!
    Question…….these sound DELICIOUS!Should the pear be a little hard or RIPE?
    I shall give them A GO!!!!!!!
    My MOTHER is 91…………..I have ALL her cookbooks!
    Hoping she will come for TURKEY DAY!She always says YES, than backs OUT!
    I have MY SON's friends for THANKS GIVING………the BOYS that grew up with my BOYS……….Had to smile to myself last night when one more was added………it is a WONDERFUL FEELING when your SONS want to come to your house for the HOLIDAYS!
    Just maybe I did do something RIGHT!

  • Jennifer
    November 23, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    The pears need to be a little hard. So happy for you to have your sons and their friends home for Thanksgiving. You certainly did things right. Cheers!

  • Amira Ingram
    November 29, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Dear Ms. Lively Life,

    You make the making of these delectable treats sound so very simple and easy. I shall give it a go for Christmas, but I can picture myself running around in circles in order to execute your mother’s lovely recipe.

  • Cath
    December 3, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    When asked what was her favorite dessert, Julia Child said, ‘The perfect pear.’ Your Mom seems to have found the perfect method for preparing it. Thanks for sharing this treasured recipie with us!