Zinfandel Poached Pears

The flavor profile gets a fruity tang from the red wine-poached pears and pure creaminess from the mascarpone and the whipping cream.  It’s a sophisticated dessert that pairs well with comfort foods.  
Zinfandel poached pears in mascarpone whipped cream on a red serving plate.

You can add extra eye appeal by dropping pomegranate seeds onto the whipped cream layer.  For additional visual interest, you can layer different colored plates that match your theme.

The dish in itself doesn’t need dressing up. Yet you can see with a little bit of creativity, you can elevate this dish to high standing.

Zinfandel Poached Pears

Foodie de Froid
Servings 8
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 5 hours
These Zinfandel poached pears are elegant and delicious. It’s a perfect fall and early winter dessert when pears are at their best.
5 from 1 vote



  • 3 cups zinfandel red wine
  • 1 ¼ cups dark brown sugar packed
  • 8 pears small

Whipped Cream

  • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 ½ cups mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract



  • In a large pot, bring the wine and brown sugar to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce to a simmer.
    3 cups zinfandel red wine, 1 ¼ cups dark brown sugar
  • While poaching liquid is simmering, gently peel the pears, leaving the stem intact. Cut a thin slice off the bottom to allow pears to stand upright. Immediately place them into the hot liquid. The pears will not be covered entirely, therefore, cover them with parchment paper to keep them moist. Cook until tender when pierced with a skewer.
    8 pears
  • Cool the pears in the liquid at room temperature, turning occasionally to ensure an even color. Refrigerate in the liquid for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours, turning occasionally to maintain an even color.
  • Strain poaching liquid and place back in the saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook until reduced by at least half. Liquid should be slightly syrupy. Let cool to room temperature.

Whipping Cream

  • Whisk together the mascarpone, sugar, and vanilla paste in a small deep bowl.
    1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream, 1 ½ cups mascarpone, 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Whip the cream to stiff peaks.

To Serve

  • Divide the mascarpone mixture among 8 plates. Spread the cheese in a thin layer 5" in diameter. Place a dollop of whipped cream on top of the mascarpone and set a pear in the center of the mound, pushing slightly to stand upright. Drizzle two tablespoons of poaching liquid on top of the pears and serve immediately.


The cook time can vary depending on the ripeness of the pears - from 30 minutes up to (and over) one hour.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, French
Calories 459


Serving: 8servingsCalories: 459kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 5gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 22gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 43mgPotassium: 251mgFiber: 6gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 1291IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 109mgIron: 0.4mg
Keyword poached pears
Have you made this recipe? We'd love to hear how it was!

De Froid Tip: Layering for Presentation

Layering plates is one way to add visual interest to your food quickly.  Much like adding a decorative blanket or pillow to a chair, add textures and colors by combining different serving dishes purposefully.

Create a new habit of using different plates and platters to build fun and creativity into your meals and gatherings.  It can change the entire mood of the table for the humans in your life.

corned beef party puffs with creamed cheese filling in a choux pastry puff on a slate serving platter.

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