Poached pears are one of the things that define autumn for me. A warm and comforting dessert, perfect for the cold autumn days. This recipe is from Waitrose magazine and it uses Comice pears, but it will work well with other types too. The pears are very aromatic and delicious served with a little cream or ice cream. It’s also a very easy dessert to make while and cooks while you are enjoying dinner!

Pears baked with Marsala, brown sugar and vanilla

Serves 4 | Prepare 10 mins | Cook 55 minutes
Easy | Vegetarian | Gluten-Free

Poached Pears 6

You’ll need:

  • 4 Comice pears, peeled;
  • 30g unsalted butter, softened;
  • 160 Marsala wine;
  • 40 ml dry white wine;
  • 100g dark brown Muscovado sugar;
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in two;
  • 1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways;
  • 2 fresh bay leaves.

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4. Using a small, sharp knife, cut a slice from the base of each pear – this will allow the pear to sit happily upright. Spread a little softened butter over each pear and place them in an oven-proof dish. Pour over the Marsala and wine, and evenly scatter over the sugar and a pinch of salt.

Add the cinnamon, vanilla pod and bay leaves to the dish and cover loosely with foil. Bake for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for a further 15 minutes, until the pears are tender and the sauce is thick and syrupy. Serve warm with a generous dollop of crème fraîche, ice cream or cream.

Poached Pears 4

Original recipe from Waitrose Magazine October 2012, unfortunately not available online.