Sweet treats

Poached pears in mulled wine recipe


Liz says:

If Christmas pudding is not your dessert of choice, these deliciously light poached pears in mulled wine are perfect for cleansing the palate after a blow-out main course. I also love the fact that they’re so easy to make in advance, and have even been known to eat the pears with a bowlful of plain, live yoghurt for breakfast or brunch.


  • 1 bottle inexpensive red wine
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 star anise
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 6 pears, peeled but kept whole with stalk intact
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 sprigs of thyme and fresh clementine zest (optional)


  1. Bring the bottle of red wine to the boil over medium heat, and add in the lemon (halved and squeezed), nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves and vanilla pod.
  2. Let it simmer for around 15 minutes, then add in the pears. Let them cook for around 20-30 minutes, depending on the ripeness of the pears, until tender and soft (check with a cocktail stick).
  3. When done, take out the pears and set aside to cool, while continuing to boil down the liquid until it’s syrupy in texture.
  4. Sieve out the spices and use the syrup to drizzle over the pears.
  5. Garnish with a sprig of thyme and clementine zest.

Tip: Although cooking the red wine removes almost all of the alcohol, this is a dish best served to grown-ups…