Festive dessert: Yummy Rioja Poached Pears

Published Wednesday, Dec 31 2014, 18:20 GMT  |  By  |  Add comment
If you're fed up of chocolate and Christmas puddings, why not try making these gorgeous poached pears for the yuletide season?

This winter fruit is cooked in a special blend of Rioja and whiskey, as well as a splash of orange juice and tasty fragrant spices. Better still, once the pears have been cooked they'll keep for a week in the fridge, so they're an easy dish to make in advance. And they taste divine!

Poached pears

© Asda


  • 75cl Asda Extra Special Rioja
  • 100ml whisky
  • 1l smooth orange juice
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Zest of ½ orange
  • 6 Conference pears


1 Put the Rioja, whisky and orange juice in a saucepan. Add the sugar, spices and orange zest. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally.

2 Core the pears with a melon baller. Insert the melon baller at the base of the pear and tunnel through, removing a little at a time until the core has been removed, leaving the stalk intact.

3 Peel the pears and trim the bases so they sit flat. Put them in the pan so they remain submerged. Increase the heat until an occasional bubble rises to the surface. Poach the pears until tender – about 20-30mins. Once the pears are cooked, carefully transfer them to a container.

4 Strain the syrup. Return to the saucepan, bring to the boil and reduce by three-quarters. Keep tasting the syrup as it reduces. When you’re happy with the flavour, leave to cool and put in an airtight container until ready to use. The pears will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

5 To serve, fill each pears with cream and serve with the Rioja syrup and a sprinkle of nuts.

Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook Time

20 - 30 minutes minutes

Nutrition Information

Serves 6

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