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Course: Sweets
Keyword: Christmas, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Fruit, Gluten-Free, Holidays, Vanilla Poached Pears, Wine

Vanilla Poached Pears

ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours 5 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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  • 1 bottle white wine, Riesling or Viognier
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup vanilla sugar
  • 1 whole vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 2 pounds firm Bartlett, Anjou, or Bosc pears, peeled, leaving the stem intact (4 pears)
ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours 5 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


  • Place the white wine, water, sugar, and vanilla bean pod and pulp into a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Core the pears from the bottom. Decrease the heat to medium-low and place the pears into the liquid, cover, and cook, maintaining a gentle simmer, until the pears are tender but not falling apart, about 30 minutes. Remove the pears to a serving dish, standing them upright, and place in the refrigerator.
  • Remove the vanilla bean pod from the saucepan, increase the heat to high, and reduce the syrup to approximately 1 cup of liquid, 20 to 25 minutes. The syrup should be golden brown-do not let it get too dark, or it will become bitter. Place the syrup in a heatproof container and place in the refrigerator until cool, approximately 1 hour.
  • Remove the pears from the refrigerator, spoon the sauce over the pears, and serve.
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