Poached Pears with Cinnamon & Cardamom

I am so excited for autumn! Cue: apples, pears, pumpkins, crisp leaves & ALL the cozy spices. When we think of spiced fall desserts, the first two ingredients that come to mind are apples & pumpkins, but let’s not forget about those freshly picked pears! Pears have a similar texture to apple which means they can often be used interchangeably in a recipe. However, pears bring such a different & distinctive flavour to a dessert.

One of my favourite simple & flavourful treats to whip up over the fall & holiday months are poached pears. They are easy to make, but are such a decadent dessert to serve to guests. I chose to use cardamom & cinnamon  as my two main spices in this recipe as they pair beautifully with a dry white wine. My favourite pear poaching wine is a crisp sauvignon blanc, you can make them with any dry white wine you have on hand.

As I always say with my savoury dishes that incorporate wine, only poach the pears with a wine you would drink too! The ingredients in a poached pear are so minimal, that using a quality wine is very important to the success of this recipe.

Lastly, while poached pears can be served on their own, I prefer to serve mine with a generous dollop of fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. I love how the warm pears & syrup pair with the chilled whipped cream. Enjoy!


Poached Pears with Cinnamon & Cardamom


  • 1/2 tablespoon cardamom pods, crushed
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, whole
  • 2 cups dry white wine, sauvignon blanc or chardonnay
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 firm pears, peeled with stems intact
  • fresh whipped cream or ice cream, for serving


  1. In a saucepan add the cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, white wine, water, vanilla, brown sugar & lemon juice.
  2. Bring to a simmer over medium heat & stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  3. Add the pears & cover with a lid, slightly ajar. Simmer for about 30 minutes on medium low, or until the pears are fork tender.
  4. Remove the pears & set aside on a plate. Increase the heat to a boil & continue cooking the liquid until it reduces by half.
  5. Place pear on desired serving plate & generously drizzle with the reduced syrup. Serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

(Above: Lacanche Cormatin Range in Delft Blue)

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