This Thanksgiving, don’t just serve the same old cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Instead of a traditional dessert, why not try something new? Champagne Poached Pears are an elegant (and delicious) addition to your holiday table that will impress guests and family alike! With this recipe, you’ll learn how to make these pears from scratch with simple ingredients like champagne, sugar and cinnamon. You can even use this time as an opportunity to teach your loved ones some cooking skills!
-Champagne, enough to fill a large pot about halfway up the side of the pears
-Sugar, for poaching the pear halves in sugar syrup and for sprinkling on top before serving. I used ¼ cup per quart jar full of liquid. You can also use honey instead if you’re looking for a more natural alternative that’s still sweet and delicious!
-Cinnamon sticks or powder to taste – optional but recommended! They add an extra layer of flavor without adding any weird tastes like cloves might do. Plus, they help ward off bacteria making your dish even safer than it was before cooking began!
-Peeled and cored pears, about enough to fill the bottom of your pot
Cut off the tops from each pear. I recommend doing this with a knife or paring kitchen shears instead of using a peeler because it’s easier on both the fruit and you. Start by cutting all around where you want to cut at – mine were just under two inches in diameter so I was able to use one continuous line without having slices running anywhere they weren’t supposed to be. Slice down along that edge, then start slicing between your cuts until everything is peeled like an apple! If some difficult spots come up as you’re peeling them (like areas near their stem) just run a vegetable peeler over it to get everything.
-Cut out the core from each pear as you go, then cut into wedges and place them in a pot that is just big enough to fit all of your pears snugly inside (think about how wide each slice needs to be).
-Pour some champagne over top until it covers the fruit – this should take two bottles for me but will vary depending on how many pieces are used or their size. You can also use sparkling wine if you want!
-Add sugar so there’s an inch of it at the bottom and mix until it dissolves completely
Cover with water (including what dissolved sugar was) and bring to boil. Lower heat below medium when boiling starts happening again and let simmer for 30 minutes.
-After the simmering is done, take off of heat and let cool on counter so it stops cooking in its own juices. After about an hour they’ll be ready to dip into a bowl of whipped cream or eat just as is! Enjoy!
Question: What is the best way to store these in my fridge?
Answer: Store them straight up. If they’re stored horizontally, the liquid will leak out and your refrigerator shelves will be sticky!
Question: Will these still work if I don’t have Champagne?
Answer: No. You can substitute apple cider or white wine for a more subtle flavor profile. We recommend using one cup of whichever you choose – but do not exceed two cups total volume as this may cause some browning on the pears due to oxidation.
Question: How long should I cook these in simmering water before adding champagne?
Answer: The poaching process takes about 12-14 minutes, so add champagne after eight to ten minutes into cooking time depending on the quantity of pears in the pot.
Question: Do I need to peel these before poaching them?
Answer: You can keep their skin on if you like, but we recommend peeling for a smoother texture and flavor profile. Plus it makes your job easier when dipping into syrup!
Question: What type of champagne should I use?
Answer: We love using this Duc De Sauternes Brut Champagne because its pear flavors will compliment our dish beautifully. Any quality bubbly wine from France is great for poaching as well – just make sure that it’s dry! And Santa Margherita Prosecco also works wonderfully too. The price point isn’t important here, so feel free to experiment with different wines until you find one that matches your taste preference.
– Use ripe pears, but not too soft or they’ll break when poaching.
– Poach the pear in just enough Champagne to cover it and cook for about 30 minutes at a gentle simmer until tender yet firm. Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes before serving with some of the cooking liquid spooned over each pear. The poached pears will keep up to five days refrigerated in an airtight container, then add a dash more Champagne before reheating gently on the stovetop until heated through (do not boil). Add sugar if desired.