Poached Pears

Based on a historical recipe by Belle Nancy Shippen, this recipe uses the flavor of fall to create a sweet and healthy treat for your family. 

Makes 4 pears; serves 4

3 cups Merlot
¾ cups granulated sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 Tbsp whole clove
1 vanilla bean, split
4 under ripe Bosc pears, peeled and cored
2 cups apple juice
½ cup juniper berries (optional)
Zest and juice of 1 lemon


  1. In a large saucepan, add the wine, sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves and vanilla bean.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  2. Carefully stand the pears upright in the saucepan. To make sure that the pears are evenly submerged in the liquid, weigh them down with a heat-safe plate. Simmer, covered, until the thickest part of the pear can be easily pierced with a wooden skewer, 15 to 20 minutes.  Do not overcook.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and, using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the pears to a casserole dish and place them in the fridge to cool. 
  4. Once cool, let them sit out to come to room temperature before serving.