Port Poached Pears with Holiday Spices

Port Poached Pears are an easy recipe, perfect for the holiday season. This fruit-centered dessert has no added refined sugar and is festive, beautiful, and oh so delicious! Just simmer on the stove, chill in the refrigerator, and serve with vanilla ice cream.

  • Author: Michele Sidorenkov, RDN
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour - 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 Minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 pears 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Poaching
  • Cuisine: Holiday


  • 1 bottle port wine
  • 2-4 Bartlett pears (peeled with stem still attached)
  • juice from 2 freshly squeezed oranges
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean (split)

Recommended Accompaniments: Vanilla ice cream


  1. Simmer on the Stove: Add port, peeled pears, orange juice, raisins, cloves, cinnamon stick, and vanilla bean to a medium sauce pot. Lightly stir to break up the ingredients, making sure the pears are at least half way submerged in the wine. Set stove to medium-low heat and simmer ingredients uncovered for 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes, turning the pears occasionally so they get evenly stained by the port on all sides.
  2. Take off heat and chill: Take off the heat when the port sauce has reduced to about 1 inch or 1/2 an inch in the bottom of the pan (makes about 1/2 - 2/3 cup total of reduced port sauce). Transfer all ingredients to a bowl, cover when cooled and transfer to the fridge to chill for 2 hours - 48 hours, keeping the pears in submerged in the reduced port sauce.
  3. Serve and Enjoy: Before serving, remove cinnamon stick and cloves. Serve pears with reduced port drizzle sauce and rehydrated golden raisins. Can serve pears whole with stem still attached or halve the pears and remove the core with a mellon baller. Add optional dessert accompaniments, like ice cream.


  • Recipe Variations: The type of spices and dried fruit can be altered depending on occasion or taste preference. Add star anise, whole allspice, or black pepper corns, or swap the golden rasins for dried cranberries, dried blueberries, or dried plumbs.
  • Pear Positioning Tip: If you want your pears to stand up straight (like in the photos), flatten the bottom base of the pear with your peeler or knife before simmering.
  • Optional Spice Sachet: Making a spice sachet out of cheese cloth and kitchen string before simmering your ingredients in Step 1 will help you remove the spices in Step 3.
  • Make Ahead: After simmer the pears in port, they can chill in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours before serving. When holding them in the refrigerator, cover and keep as submerged as possible in the port sauce.


Keywords: Port Poached Pears, Wine Poached Pears, Holiday Pear Dessert