Smoke and Thyme’s Poached Pears

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Poached Pears 2

Delicious hot or cold, and a great way to use up a glut or make the most of our local supply from Waterperry Gardens. Perfect eaten straight away but will keep in the fridge for up to 10 days. This recipe was created especially for us by Jack Greenall from Smoke and Thyme. Find out more at


Serves 3-6

Poached PearsWhat you need:

  • 6 pears, ideally not quite ripe
  • 1 bottle white wine (eg riesling) OR red wine (eg cabernet sauvignon)
  • 125g sugar
  • 2-3 pieces of orange or lemon peel
  • 4 cardamom pods or 1tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 sprig rosemary or 2 bay leaves
  • Generous pinch of nutmeg or mace
  • 1 small piece of cinnamon
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, diced


What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Peel the pears, cut in half and scoop out the cores and discard. Place pear halves in a saucepan of cold water with a squeeze of lemon juice (to stop them going brown).
  2. In a separate saucepan, make the poaching liquor by combining wine, sugar and all the herbs and spices and bring to the boil. Stir to ensure sugar has dissolved then remove from heat. Drain pears and transfer them to the poaching liqueur.
  3. Cut a circle of parchment the same size as saucepan and put over the top of the pears to keep them submerged. Transfer to the oven and cook for 45 mins, or until the pears are soft enough that a sharp knife can pierce them with little to no resistance. Remove from poaching liqueur.
  4. If you wish, you can heat the poaching liqueur over a very low flame until has reduced by half. This syrup can be drizzled over the pears to serve.