Pears poached in spiced wine are an elegant fall dessert, but I’ll do you one better – Pears poached in a spiced wine syrup that are wrapped and baked in buttery, flakey puff pastry and drizzled in a caramel sauce made from the poaching syrup. BOOM.
I’ve always wanted to make a poached pear wrapped in puff pastry and these turned out just as wonderfully as I had hoped. I chose to braid the strips of puff pastry because I have over-achiever issues, but just wrapping them in simple strips of pastry will do just fine. If you want to go one step past over-achiever, cut out little leaves of puff pastry and attach them to the base of the pear stem before baking.
You do need to take care when cooking down the poaching syrup into a caramel – a few seconds too long and the caramel will burn, so shoot for just barely starting to caramelize. You can even add the butter and cream just before the syrup turns to caramel and you will have a sauce that is more of a creamy red/purple with a bit more fruity of a flavor.
- 2 cups Red Wine (I used a Cabernet)
- 1 cup Raw Cane Sugar
- 1 Star Anise
- 6 Whole Cloves
- ½ Vanilla Bean, cut in half lengthwise
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 4 Pears, peeled
- ½ cup Heavy Cream
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- 1 sheet frozen Puff Pastry, thawed (half package)
- 1 Egg, beaten
- Add the wine, sugar, star anise, vanilla bean, cloves, and cinnamon sticks to a deep saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium/high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium and add the pears to the pan, stems pointing up.
- Let cook for 30 minutes, turning pears occasionally, if needed, to thoroughly submerge in liquid.
- Remove pears from syrup and let cool on a plate. Scoop the spices out of the syrup and discard.
- Bring the syrup to a boil and continue to cook for another 8-10 minutes, or until the syrup cooks down to a very thick syrup. Continue to cook, watching closely, until the syrup just begins to caramelize. As soon as it begins to caramelize, pour in the cream and add the butter.
- The syrup will sputter and seize. Continue to cook for another minutes or so and the caramel will bend with the cream and turn into a creamy sauce.
- Remove from heat and let cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge if not using right away,
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Place the sheet of puff pastry on a floured surface and roll to about 18" in length. Cut into strips ¼" wide. Braid strips of three, if desired. If you do not want to braid the pastry, only cut the strips into ½" to 1" wide strips. Starting at the top of the pear, wrap the pastry strips around the pear spiraling downward. you may need 2-3 strips to fully cover the pear. Repeat until all four pears are covered in pastry.
- Place the pears on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush the puff pastry with the beaten egg.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
- Serve pears drizzled with the wine caramel sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream, for good measure 😉