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Pears Poached in Red Wine and Cassis


A classic French dessert with liqueur, wine-poached pears, some crème de cassis, honey, vanilla and cinnamon. The cassis, made from black currants, adds a deep berry essence to the syrupy wine. This dessert can be served warm or chilled.


  • 3 cups not-too-robust red wine, such as a Beaujolais or a Côtes du Luberon
  • ? Cup mild honey, such as clover
  • ¼ cup crème de cassis liqueur
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ cup dark or golden raisins
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 firm but ripe pears
  • ¼ cup lightly toasted slivered almonds

Yield Serves 4 to 6

  • Nutritional Information


Combine wine, honey, and crème de cassis in a medium saucepan. Using the tip of a paring knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean halves into wine and add pods. Add cinnamon stick and raisins and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill a bowl with water and add lemon juice. Peel, quarter and core pears and drop into the acidulated water. (This prevents the pears from discoloring.)

Drain pears and add to simmering wine. Bring back to a simmer, cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes more, until pears are slightly translucent. Turn off heat and remove cinnamon stick. Add almonds. Serve warm or chilled.