Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

Feeling & sharing a world of cooking ~ more than your average Cajun


Poached Pears with Pomegranate Chardonnay Sauce

November 3rd, 2010 · 26 Comments

Poached Pears with Pomegranate Chardonnay Sauce, stuffed with apricots, vanilla wafers, and pistachios
Poached Pears with Pomegranate Chardonnay Sauce, stuffed with apricots, vanilla wafers, and pistachios.

This is a delightfully light yet chic dessert that can be made days ahead and then plated and served when guests are ready for dessert. And at only around 250 calories per serving, this dessert treat is a healthy alternative for the sweet tooth on your guest list. The sauce for this poached pear dessert is created from reducing and thickening the white wine pomegranate juice poaching liquid, creating a white wine pomegranate sauce. 

It was been years ago since poached pears had crossed my kitchen prep table, and this time it would be with a different stuffing and a new accompanying sauce. At Elmwood Medical Center around the 1988 time period, where the executive chef title on my chef jacket indicated I also had responsibilities for menu creation, and with the help of dietitians we developed a healthy dessert alternative using fresh pears and cheese. At the time it was poached pears with sage Darby cheese, which was quite a bit of prep work since the cheese is a hard variety. Imagine having to prep an entire case or two of these pears, peeling, coring, and stuffing about 150 to 200 pears is quite a time consuming challenge. This poached pear version was served with a raspberry coulis sauce, and was quite popular among our clientele.

Today’s recipe for the poached pear is stuffed with chopped apricots and crushed vanilla wafers along with some chopped pistachio nuts. And don’t worry, it is written to yield only four pears! Actual prep time is about 30 minutes, cooking is another 30 minutes, and resting time is at least 2 hours. Hands on prep and cooking are less than an hour of effort.

4 Large Bosc pears
2 Cups Water
2 Cups Chardonnay or any white wine
1 Cup Pomegranate juice
¼ Cup Sugar
¼ Cup Honey
4 Each Whole cloves
4 Each Dried apricots
8 Strips Lemon rind
2 Tsp Vanilla extract
1 Tbsp Cornstarch slurry
4 Each Vanilla wafers, crushed
½ Cup Pistachios, coarse chopped, divided
Procedure Steps:
Peel the pears
Core the pears

Peel the pears then core from the bottom without going all the way through leaving the stem side intact. Then slice just less than ¼ inch from the bottom of pear to form a flat base for the pear to rest on when serving. Set the pears aside.

Poach the pears

Combine the wine, juice, sugar, honey, cloves, apricots, lemon ride, and vanilla extract in a large sauce pot and bring to a boil. Add the pears, cover and allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until pears are tender.

3. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pears and apricots, and transfer them to plate then allow them to chill for at least 2 hours.
4. In the meantime, continue to simmer the poaching liquid until reduced to 2 cups liquid. Combine the cornstarch with about two tablespoons of cool water and dissolve until smooth, then whisk in the cornstarch slurry into the liquid reduction. Continue to simmer for about 10 minutes on low heat.
5. Coarse chop the apricots, and combine them in a small bowl with the crushed vanilla wafers and ¼ cup of the chopped pistachios. Fill the cored out cavity of each pear with the apricot, vanilla wafer, pistachio mixture and pack well.

To Serve: Place one pear on plate then ladle ¼ of the sauce over the pear, sprinkle to garnish with ¼ of the remaining coarse chopped pistachios.
Yield: 4 servings


Another view…

Four of the poached pears ready to serve
Four of the poached pears ready to serve.

Bon appetite!
©2010 CCR

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Tags: Desserts · Recipes · Vegetarian · Weight Watchers

26 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Torviewtoronto // Nov 3, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    delicious flavours looks lovely

  • 2 Gloria // Nov 3, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    I keep saying I”ll try poaching pears. This recipe might be the final push to actually do so. Sounds absolutely delicious.

  • 3 Aggie // Nov 3, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    I have yet to poach a pear. These look beautiful and so delicious!

  • 4 fooddreamer // Nov 3, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    This looks heavenly! I’d much prefer the current filling over the cheese. Great recipe!

  • 5 Kare // Nov 3, 2010 at 6:34 pm


  • 6 Tiffany // Nov 3, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    I don’t think I have ever poached anything, but if it tastes as good as it looks, I will try it!

  • 7 OC2Seattle // Nov 3, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Poached pears are such a great healthy dessert – the pomegranate chardonnay saucing is a nice twist.

  • 8 Mags@theOtherSideof50 // Nov 3, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    VERY gourmet. Looks so pretty!

  • 9 Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having // Nov 3, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    What a beautiful dessert! I was just thinking about poaching pears for a holiday dessert, thanks for sharing this!

  • 10 sasha // Nov 3, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    I absolutely love poached pears and these with the pomagranate and chardonnay look absolutely amazing. cant wait to try this out!

  • 11 whatsfordinneracrossstatelines // Nov 4, 2010 at 12:45 am

    I love pears, they remind me of my grandpa, they were his favorite. I love the poaching liquid and I have some POM juice left. Great recipe, thanks!

  • 12 Grace // Nov 4, 2010 at 12:54 am

    I’ve wanted to try poached pears for a while now. This looks amazing! Are Bosc pears the go to pear for poaching?

  • 13 redkathy // Nov 4, 2010 at 3:02 am

    Oh the pears are just fabulous Chef. The perfect fall dessert!

  • 14 Amber // Nov 4, 2010 at 10:40 am

    This is a beautiful dish and it looks delish!

  • 15 Faith // Nov 4, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Wow.. Those look heavenly. The suace makes a perfect combination with the poached pears

  • 16 zerrin // Nov 4, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    I love such fruit desserts and yours look so appealing with all flavors and pistachio on the top.

  • 17 Drick // Nov 4, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    what a beautiful dessert my friend, such a great presentation and know the taste is phenomenal… love the stuffing too

  • 18 Boudreaux Ryan // Nov 4, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Hey Drick,

    I thought you would like this one, and I bet peaches would work well with a little alteration here and there.

    Bon appétit!

  • 19 Evan @swEEts // Nov 4, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    I love how simple yet elegant this dish looks.. I love fruit after a good meal 🙂

  • 20 Kristi Rimkus // Nov 8, 2010 at 12:27 am

    Such an impressive dessert. No one would guess is a light in calories. Truly pretty. I’ve saved this one!

  • 21 Yesim // Nov 10, 2010 at 5:51 am

    impressive presantation , looks delicious..

  • 22 visda // Nov 11, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    looks gorgegous!

  • 23 Anna Johnston // Nov 11, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    Pears are an oldie but a goldie but you’ve really jazzed these little fella’s up beautifully with the help of Pomegranate & Pistachio flavours and they still look classy don’t they.

  • 24 // Nov 13, 2010 at 10:53 am

    I love pears and these poached ones look delicious!

  • 25 Amanda @bakingwithoutabox // Dec 22, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Cloves, pistachios, pomegrante, what a great flavor combination. I’ll have to try this the next time we have someone over to the house.

  • 26 Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul // Dec 30, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Hi Chef Ryan!
    Lovely Pears! I love poached pears, but these are a step above with that Pomegranate Chardonnay Sauce. Yum!