Our break definitely did the job – I feel realigned.  We spent lazy days traipsing through squelchy fields and damp woods, mushroom spotting and deer sighting, and generally building up appetites to sate.  Here’s one of the things I made whilst we were away – spiced poached pears are nothing new, but the port and the blackberries infuse the whole thing with a deep, almost heady aroma that feels quite decadent, especially if, like us, you eat it with double cream.


4 pears (I used comice), peeled but left whole

300ml port

300ml red wine

Juice of 1 orange

200ml water

Zest of half an orange, pared off in strips

1 large cinnamon stick

About 6 cardamom pods

2 cloves

1 star anise

3 tbsp. golden caster sugar (or to taste)

A good handful of blackberries


Choose a saucepan that accommodates all of the pears lain on their sides.  Add all of the ingredients, bar the orange peel, pears and blackberries, and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the pears and orange.

Cook on one side for about ten to fifteen minutes, then flip them over and throw the blackberries into the pan.  Cook for a further fifteen minutes or so, or until soft. Let them cool in the pan, before transferring to the fridge and chilling overnight to let the flavours develop.  Remove the spices before serving.



  1. I’m glad to read you had a good break xx

    1. Thanks lovely Elaine!

  2. Sounds like you had a good rest. This looks so lovely. What a great way to eat pears.

    1. Thanks Amanda. It was a really great break, does seem like such a long time ago already though! I love a good poached pear. The alcohol, of course, always helps 😉

  3. MyKabulKitchen · · Reply

    This looks so fancy, yet your recipe is so simple and doable which I love! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Yes, very easy to prepare in advance and then impress with later!

  4. Poached pears look amazing! Wonderful dessert to impress a friend or guests! 🙂

    1. Thanks for having a look! And glad you liked the recipe. It was delish!

  5. What a lovely combination of flavours. I love this tremendously. It’s healthy too!

    1. Thanks. I often sway towards fruity desserts due to their being somewhat healthier. It helps, of course, that I have always loved fruit!

  6. This sounds like a wonderful fall dessert with the simmering and the spices! I have to try it soon, would you believe I’ve never poached pears yet!

  7. The recipe doesn´t need to be all new to please me, and your pears do – What an amazing color! Must have been a real treat with the cream which I would have added, too, probably 😉

  8. This looks absolutely divine! Love a good poached pear!

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