Mary Berry Poached Pears Recipe

Mary Berry Poached Pears Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 30 Mins Total Time: 45 Mins

Poached pears are a classic dessert that never goes out of style. They are elegant, simple, and delicious, and they can be made with any kind of pears you have on hand. Poaching is a gentle cooking method that preserves the shape, texture, and flavor of the fruit while infusing it with a sweet and aromatic syrup.

Mary Berry, the queen of baking and one of the most beloved judges on The Great British Bake Off, has a wonderful recipe for poached pears in red wine that is perfect for any occasion. Whether you want to impress your guests at a dinner party, treat your family to a special dessert, or just enjoy a cozy night in, this recipe will not disappoint.

In this article, I will show you how to make Mary Berry’s poached pears in red wine, step by step, with tips and tricks along the way. You will learn how to choose the best pears for poaching, how to prepare the poaching liquid, how to cook the pears until tender but not mushy, and how to serve them with a rich and glossy sauce.

Let’s get started!

What is Mary Berry’s Poached Pears?

Mary Berry’s Poached Pears Recipe is a delicious and easy dessert that consists of pears cooked in red wine syrup, and flavored with vanilla, cinnamon, and thyme. The pears become soft and juicy, while the syrup becomes thick and glossy. The recipe is from Mary Berry, a famous British baker and cookbook author, who is known for her simple and elegant dishes.

Why You Love this Recipe

There are many reasons to love this recipe, such as:

  • It is very easy to make, with only a few ingredients and steps.
  • It is versatile, as you can use different kinds of pears and wine, and serve it with various accompaniments.
  • It is low in fat and gluten-free, making it suitable for most diets.
  • It is elegant and impressive, perfect for special occasions or everyday indulgence.
  • It is delicious and satisfying, with a balance of sweetness, acidity, and spice.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Poached Pears

To make Mary Berry’s poached pears in red wine, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 bottle of red wine (750 ml)
  • 225 g of caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick, halved
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig, plus more for serving
  • 6 pears, peeled but kept whole with stalk intact

You can use any kind of red wine you like, but I recommend choosing a dry and fruity one, such as Merlot, Pinot Noir, or Shiraz. Avoid using very sweet or fortified wines, as they might overpower the flavor of the pears.

As for the pears, you want to use firm and ripe ones, that are not too soft or bruised. The best varieties for poaching are Bosc, Anjou, or Bartlett, as they hold their shape well and have a delicate flavor. You can also use Comice or Conference pears, but they might fall apart more easily.

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Poached Pears

Here are the step-by-step instructions for making Mary Berry’s poached pears in red wine:

Step 1: Prepare the vanilla pod

The vanilla pod adds a lovely fragrance and flavor to the poaching liquid. To prepare it, you need to halve it lengthwise and scrape out the black seeds with a sharp knife. Put the seeds and the pod pieces in a large saucepan, along with the wine, sugar, cinnamon, and thyme. Do not turn on the heat yet.

Step 2: Peel the pears

Peel the pears carefully, using a vegetable peeler or a small knife. Try to keep the shape and the stalk intact, as they make the pears look more elegant. As you peel each pear, add it to the saucepan with the poaching liquid, to prevent it from browning.

Step 3: Poach the pears

Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer the pears, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size and ripeness of the pears. You can use a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper to cover the pears, to make sure they are submerged in the liquid.

The pears are done when they are tender all the way through, but not falling apart. You can test them by piercing them with a cocktail stick or a small knife. If they are still hard, continue to cook them until they are soft.

Step 4: Reduce the sauce

Once the pears are cooked, carefully remove them from the saucepan and transfer them to a serving platter or a storage container. You can make the pears up to two days ahead and chill them in the fridge, or serve them warm or at room temperature.

To make the sauce, bring the poaching liquid to a boil again and cook it until it is reduced by half and becomes syrupy. This might take 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the amount of liquid. Stir occasionally and watch the pot, as the sauce can burn easily.

Step 5: Serve the pears

To serve the pears, drizzle some of the sauce over them and garnish with a strip of vanilla, a piece of cinnamon, and a small thyme sprig. You can also serve them with some whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or mascarpone cheese if you like. Enjoy your delicious and elegant dessert!

Poached Pears Recipe Mary Berry

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Poached Pears?

You can serve Mary Berry Poached Pears with a variety of toppings and sides, depending on your preference and mood.

Some of the most popular options are:

  • Whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or mascarpone cheese, for a creamy and rich contrast.
  • Chopped nuts, granola, or oat crumble, for a crunchy and nutty texture.
  • Fresh berries, mint leaves, or edible flowers, for a colorful and refreshing garnish.
  • Chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, or honey, for an extra layer of sweetness and decadence.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Poached Pears

To make perfect poached pears, follow these pro tips:

  • Choose firm and ripe pears, that are not too soft or bruised. The best varieties for poaching are Bosc, Anjou, or Bartlett, as they hold their shape well and have a delicate flavor.
  • Peel the pears carefully, using a vegetable peeler or a small knife. Try to keep the shape and the stalk intact, as they make the pears look more elegant.
  • Add the pears to the poaching liquid as soon as you peel them, to prevent them from browning. You can also add some lemon juice to the liquid, for extra protection.
  • Cover the pears with a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper, to make sure they are submerged in the liquid and cook evenly.
  • Poach the pears until they are tender all the way through, but not falling apart. You can test them by piercing them with a cocktail stick or a small knife. If they are still hard, continue to cook them until they are soft.
  • Reduce the sauce until it is thick and glossy, stirring occasionally and watching the pot, as the sauce can burn easily. You can also add some cornstarch dissolved in water, to thicken the sauce faster and more evenly.
Mary Berry Poached Pears
Mary Berry Poached Pears

Variations of Mary Berry Poached Pears

You can make some variations of Mary Berry Poached Pears, by changing some of the ingredients or adding some new ones.

Here are some ideas:

  • Use white wine instead of red wine, for a lighter and more delicate dessert. You might need to add more sugar, depending on the sweetness of the wine.
  • Use apple juice, cranberry juice, or pomegranate juice, instead of wine, for a non-alcoholic and fruity alternative.
  • Add some other spices or flavorings to the poaching liquid, such as star anise, cloves, cardamom, orange zest, or lemon juice, to give it more depth and complexity.
  • Use different kinds of fruits, such as apples, peaches, plums, or apricots, instead of or in addition to pears, for more variety and flavor.

How do I store Mary Berry Poached Pears Leftovers?

If you have any leftovers of Mary Berry Poached Pears, you can store them in the fridge or the freezer, by following these steps:

  • Let the pears and the sauce cool completely at room temperature.
  • Transfer the pears and the sauce to an airtight container or a ziplock bag, making sure they are well covered with the sauce.
  • Refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Label the container or the bag with the date and the name of the dish, for easy identification.

How do I reheat Mary Berry Poached Pears Leftovers?

To reheat Mary Berry Poached Pears leftovers, you can use the microwave or the stove, depending on your preference and convenience.

Here is how:

  • If the pears are frozen, thaw them in the fridge overnight, or in the microwave on the defrost setting, until they are soft.
  • To reheat in the microwave, place the pears and the sauce in a microwave-safe dish, and heat on high for 1 to 2 minutes, or until warm. You can also add some water or wine if the sauce is too thick.
  • To reheat on the stove, place the pears and the sauce in a saucepan, and heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until warm. You can also add some water or wine if the sauce is too thick.

FAQs

How do I prevent the pears from browning?

To prevent the pears from browning, you can add some lemon juice to the poaching liquid, or add the pears to the liquid as soon as you peel them. You can also cover the pears with a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper, to make sure they are submerged in the liquid and cook evenly.

How do I know when the pears are done?

The pears are done when they are tender all the way through, but not falling apart. You can test them by piercing them with a cocktail stick or a small knife. If they are still hard, continue to cook them until they are soft.

How do I thicken the sauce faster and more evenly?

To thicken the sauce faster and more evenly, you can add some cornstarch dissolved in water, to the poaching liquid after you remove the pears. Bring the liquid to a boil again and cook it until it is thick and glossy, stirring occasionally.

How do I make non-alcoholic poached pears?

To make non-alcoholic poached pears, you can use apple juice, cranberry juice, or pomegranate juice, instead of wine, for the poaching liquid. You might need to adjust the amount of sugar, depending on the sweetness of the juice.

Nutrition value per serving (based on 6 servings):

  • Calories: 254 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 54 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Sodium: 7 mg
  • Potassium: 222 mg
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Sugar: 46 g
  • Vitamin A: 25 IU
  • Vitamin C: 8 mg
  • Calcium: 28 mg
  • Iron: 1 mg

Final Words

Mary Berry’s poached pears in red wine are a stunning and scrumptious dessert that you can make with minimal effort and ingredients. They are perfect for any occasion, from a cozy night to a fancy dinner party. They are also low in fat and gluten-free, making them a great option for anyone with dietary restrictions.

I hope you enjoyed this article and learned how to make Mary Berry’s poached pears in red wine, step by step, with tips and tricks along the way. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. And if you try this recipe, let me know how it turned out. I would love to hear from you!

Happy poaching!

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