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Red wine poached pears served with an espresso whip cream & almond brittle make for a simple elegant holiday dessert. Perfect for wine lovers and sure to impress your guests this holiday season!

The holiday season is here and we couldn’t be more excited! We love Christmas & New Years. Its such a great time to step out of your comfort zone and try making new recipes. From elegant family dinners, dinner for two to Christmas baking and trying new cocktails we just cant get enough!

This red wine poached pears dessert is truly for those who love wine. The pears have an intense spiced wine taste to them so for anyone who does not love wine, we do not recommend this dessert. To achieve the beautiful deep purple colour you’ll need to place the pears in the poaching liquid overnight.

The best pears to use are Bosc pears. They keep their shape the best when cooked and are shaped the best for an elegant presentation. Make sure to use firm pears and not ripe ready to eat pears which will fall apart when cooking.

To balance the intensity of the wine, we served the pears with an espresso whipped cream and almond brittle. The coffee flavor and sweetness from the brittle provide just the right balance. We suggest preparing the pears and almond brittle the day before to save time.

This is also a great dessert to make after the holidays if you have any leftover bottles of red wine that your guests weren’t able to finish. Once you achieve that beautiful deep red purple you can reduce the wine into syrup and use that syrup to coat the pears. You can also serve the pears with vanilla ice cream, almond slivers, crunchy granola, we’ll leave that up to you.

To deep purple makes for a beautiful presentation, visually stunning! This dessert is sweet and warm, perfect for the holidays


Red wine poached pears served with an espresso whip cream & almond brittle make for a simple elegant holiday dessert. Perfect for wine lovers and sure to impress your guests this holiday season!

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Christmas
Servings: 4 -6
Author: the communal feast


  • 4-6 Bosc pears -depends on amount of guests
  • 1 bottle of cabernet sauvignon
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • Zest from 1 orange + orange slices
  • Zest from 1 lemon + lemon juice
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Almond brittle:
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • Espresso Whipped Cream:
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp espresso powder


  • 1. Peel the pears keeping the stalks on
  • 2. You can either leave them whole or cut them in half. If halved, use a melon baller to scoop out the core.
  • 3. Add the pears to a large pot along with zests, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, sugar and vanilla. Top with red wine and orange slices. Add a bit of water to ensure the pears are completely covered.
  • 4. Place the lid on the pot and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until the pears are ripe. Remove the pears
  • 5. Strain the poaching liquid and discard the flavorings. For the intense deep red / purple colour you will need to place the pears with the liquid in a container overnight into the refrigerator.
  • 6. Once your satisfied with the colour of your pears, next make the red wine syrup. Add 2 cups of red wine juice to a pan and bring to a boil. You really want the wine to bubble which helps it to reduce to about half. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. The cooling will help the wine thicken into a syrup.
  • 7. Serve pears with espresso whip, almond brittle and red wine syrup.

To make Almond Brittle:

  • 1. Line a small pan with aluminum foil with a small overhang for easy removal. Coat the foil with butter spray
  • 2. Melt butter, sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan stirring constantly.
  • 3. Continue to cook and stir until mixture is golden brown. This could take 5-10 minutes.
  • 4. Add the almond slices into the mixture and pour onto buttered pan. Refrigerate until chill and firm. Invert pan take crunch off the foil and break into bite-sized pieces.
  • 5. Store for up to 1 week.

To make Espresso Whipped Cream:

  • 1. Place metal mixing bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes
  • 2. Remove bowl and add the heavy cream, powdered sugar and espresso powder. Beat with an electric mixer for 5 minutes continuously increasing the speed until still peaks form and it holds its shape
  • 3. Store leftovers for up to 3 days.



December 9, 2020


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