Easy Poached Pears

Easy Poached Pears with Marsala
Easy Poached Pears with Marsala Wine
Easy Poached Pears

Easy Poached Pears

This recipe for  Easy Poached Pears is a fantastic make-ahead autumn or winter dessert.  The cooking time is quite long but the preparation time is very short and extremely simple – basically you just need to peel the pears!

There is something very autumnal about pears.  I love eating them just as they are.  However, it is often quite difficult to get them at just the right stage of ripeness – one day they are hard and unripe and the next day they are soft and squishy!  The beauty of cooking with pears is that you do not need to use ripe  ones.  This recipe is best made with unripe pears which then become beautifully soft and fragranced with Marsala wine, cinnamon and vanilla, during the cooking process.

Marsala is a fortified Italian wine which is generally widely available.  If you do not have any Marsala wine, you could use red wine, port, cider or perry (pear cider) as alteratives.

The recipe is based on Delia Smith’s Pears Baked in Marsala Wine but I cook the pears for a shorter time and do not add arrowroot to thicken the sauce as I prefer it to be thinner.

Easy Poached Pears

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Easy Poached Pears with Marsala

Easy Poached Pears

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 120
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English


Easy Poached Pears is a make-ahead autumnal recipe which transforms unripe pears into a sumptuous dessert through slow cooking them with Marsala Wine, cinnamon and vanilla.


  • 6 unripe pears
  • 600 ml Marsala
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence (or a vanilla pod)


  1. Set your oven to 250 F/130 C/Gas Mark 0.5.
  2. Remove the skins from the pears using a vegetable peeler.   Take a thin slice of the base of each pear.  This will give it a flat bottom so that it will stand up on the plate when it has been cooked.
  3. Put the Marsala, sugar, cinnamon stick and vanilla essence into a heavy casserole.  Heat until the liquid is simmering and the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Place the pears in the casserole on their sides.    Put the lid on the casserole and place in the oven.
  5. Bake for 1 hour and then turn the pears so that their other side is in the liquid.  Bake for a further 1 hour.
  6. Remove the pears from the liquid and set aside in a dish to cool.
  7. Place the casserole containing the liquid  on the top of the stove and boil rapidly with the lid off for around 10 minutes.   The liquid will  reduce by about one third.
  8. Place both the pears and the liquid separately in the fridge to chill.  When you are ready to serve, place the pears on  individual plates and pour some of the liquid over them.   Good accompaniments are whipped cream or a mixture of half whipped cream and half mascarpone or vanilla ice cream.


This is a vegan recipe and can be served with non-dairy cream or ice-cream.

If you don’t have Marsala Wine, you can use red wine, port, cider or perry (pear cider) as alternatives.

Keywords: pears, marsala, vegetarian, vegan, dessert

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