Pears in red wine with cinnamon

Päron i röttvin med kanel

Pears in red wine

Swedes are really good at using spices, most notably vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom, to enhance flavours. When cooking pears in red wine Swedes normally add cinnamon and vanilla, although nutmeg and cinnamon are sometimes used instead. The beauty of this dessert is that it can all be prepared in advance and it is low in cholesterol. Perfect! John Duxbury


Recipe summary for pears in red wine


• When shopping for pears choose hard pears with a good shape and a long stalk, so that the pear can be picked up by the stalk.
• You can substitute strong dry apple cider or pear cider instead of red wine.


8   large pears
500 ml (2 cups) red wine
50 g (¼ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
2   cinnamon sticks
1   vanilla pod
2 tsp   arrowroot or potato flour (starch)

You also need a large casserole, big enough to take the pears lying on their sides.


1. Preheat the oven to 130°C (250°F, gas ½, fan 120°C).

A peeled pear for pears in red wine

2. Peel the pears but leave the stalks intact. Then slice off a thin slice from the bottom of each pear so that they can sit upright.

Fruit, spices and wine for pears in red wine

3. Lay the pears on their sides in a large casserole. Pour over the red wine then sprinkle with sugar and add the cinnamon sticks and the vanilla pod. Now bring everything to simmering point, cover the casserole and bake in the oven on a low shelf for 1½ hours.

4. Turn the pears over onto their other side, then cook for another 1½ hours.

Pears being cooked in red wine and spices

5. When the pears are cooked, transfer them to a serving bowl to cool, leaving the liquid in the casserole. Remove the cinnamon sticks and vanilla pod.

6. Mix the arrowroot or potato flour (starch) with a little cold water to make a smooth paste. Add this to the casserole, whisking as you add it. Bring the syrup to a simmer, stirring continuously until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

7. When the sauce is cold, pour it over the pears and cover with cling film (food wrap). Place the pears in the fridge to cool thoroughly.

Pear poached in red wine in a dish

8. Serve the pears sitting upright in individual dishes with the sauce spooned over them. They are nice on their own, but they can also be served with pouring cream, crème fraîche or a small scoop of kanelglass (cinnamon ice cream).


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