Since everyone in my family is well aware of my obsession for salad, they always give me the task of creating the salad for the Christmas Eve dinner each year. And while a regular old salad is nice, I wanted to spice mine up with something, well, different.
Enter the poached pear!
These poached pears are made using fresh cranberries and some Cabernet….because there’s certainly no lack of wine lovers around our Christmas table. (Same with your family, or…??)
They’re also flavored with orange juice to cut the bold flavor of the wine and to enhance the natural sweetness of the pears.
And, another fun/not-so-fun fact: I was absolutely sick with a stuffy nose the entire week of Christmas, so in full disclosure I never actually got to TASTE these for myself. But we’ll just have to trust everyone else’s opinion who said they were good. (I have 2 uncles who are chefs in my family and it passed the test with them, so I think we’re good — but if not, take it up with them for giving me a false sense of confidence in these!)
Cranberry Cabernet Poached Pears
- 4 Firm pears (I used Bosc pears)
- 1 Cup fresh cranberries
- 2 Cups Cabernet (or other red wine)
- 1 Cup orange juice
- 2 Tbsp sugar (or omit if you are avoiding added sugars)
- 2 Cinnamon sticks
- 1 Tbsp whole cloves
- 1/2 tsp anise seed
- Few slices of fresh orange
To Make Cranberry Cabernet Poached Pears:
- Peel the pears, leaving the stems intact.
- Cut off the bottom of each pear so it has a flat bottom and will stand upright in the pot.
- Place the pears in the bottom of a medium saucepan. Make sure the pot is large enough so that there is room for the liquid to spread around each pear. (In full disclosure, I switched to a larger pot after taking the first photo because the pears were too smashed in there).
- Mix all remaining ingredients together in a bowl.
- Pour the mixture over the pears in the saucepan.
- Bring the liquid to a boil on medium heat, then lower to a simmer.
- Simmer until pears are tender when pierced with a fork (mine took about 30 minutes – be careful not to overcook them)
- Remove pears from the pot to cool. If the pears have residue on them after cooking, rinse them under cold water.
- Allow to cool and then slice and serve on a salad or even for dessert with some homemade whipped cream!