Poached Pears with Orange Cream

Total Time

Prep: 10 min. Cook: 45 min. + cooling


2 servings

Updated: Jun. 27, 2023
End the meal with a flourish with this easy and elegant dessert. A hint of orange lends just enough sweetness to temper the wine's bold taste. —Julianne Schnuck, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Poached Pears with Orange Cream Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 2 firm medium pears
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup dry red wine or red grape juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon orange extract
  • Additional grated orange zest, optional


  1. Core pears from bottom, leaving stems intact. Peel pears; cut 1/4 in. from bottom to level if necessary. Place pears on their sides in a large saucepan. Add water, wine, sugar and vanilla. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, turning once, until pears are almost tender, 35-40 minutes. (For more intense flavor and color, leave fruit in cooking liquid and refrigerate overnight.)
  2. Meanwhile, combine sour cream, confectioners' sugar, orange zest and extract. Refrigerate until serving.
  3. Remove pears with a slotted spoon; pat dry and, if warm, cool to room temperature. Discard cooking liquid. Place pears on dessert plates. Serve with orange cream; if desired, top with additional grated orange zest.

Test Kitchen tips
  • Using red wine in the poaching liquid will give you an intensely flavored pear with a beautiful rosy red color but you can also use a fruity white wine for a pear that is natural looking. Have leftover sparkling wine or Champagne? Use that for a lightly flavored pear. You can also use almost any fruit juice with equally spectacular results.
  • This recipe serves two, but it can easily be doubled, tripled or even quadrupled to serve everyone around your Thanksgiving table.
  • Nutrition Facts

    1 each: 239 calories, 3g fat (2g saturated fat), 10mg cholesterol, 23mg sodium, 46g carbohydrate (36g sugars, 5g fiber), 3g protein.

    Recommended Video