Spiced Poached Pears with Red Wine and Yoghurt

Prep time 10 min cook time 55 min serves 4 Super Easy

Whole poached pears drenched in spiced red wine make an elegant dinner party dessert. The fragrant cinnamon and star anise bring this recipe to the next level. If you’re not a fan of star anise, you can leave it out and consider adding a few drops of vanilla essence to the yogurt for a contrasting twist. And guess what, counting as one of your five-a-day, this is a great heart healthy dessert for a special occasion.

Typical nutritional content (per portion)

109Calories 0.6gFat 0.4gSaturates 11gSugars 0.2gSalt


150ml red wine

150ml light cranberry juice

2 tablespoons honey

Juice and finely grated rind of 1 lemon

Juice and finely grated rind of 1 orange

1 cinnamon stick, broken in half

2 whole star anise

6 black peppercorns

2 whole cloves

4 firm ripe large pears

275g low-fat natural yoghurt


Place the red wine in a deep-sided pan (with a lid) that will be just large enough to hold the pears in an upright position. Add the cranberry juice, honey, lemon juice and rind and half of the orange juice and rind. Bring to the boil and then add the cinnamon stick, star anise, peppercorns and cloves. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer gently for another few minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.

Peel the pears, leaving the stalks attached. Add the pears, standing them upright in the pan. To help them stand you can slice the base of each pear flat for a steady base. Cover with the lid and simmer gently for 20-35 minutes until the pears are just tender, basting them from time to time with the liquid. The cooking time will depend on the ripeness of the pears.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a dish and set aside. Boil the liquid in the pan until reduced in volume by half to a more syrupy consistency. Leave to cool.

Mix the remaining orange juice and rind into the yoghurt and divide among the serving dishes. Place a cooled poached pear on top of each one and then ladle over the remaining cooking liquid to serve.

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