Port Poached Pears Wrapped in Puff Pastry

Port Poached Pears Wrapped in Puff Pastry
Recipe by Dragon

My love affair with Port wine started when I was a teenager and was allowed to take my first sip at a family get together. It was love at first taste. Port Wine is a fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley region in the northern provinces of Portugal. These days I look for ways to use it in my cooking and especially in my baking. This recipe is a perfect way to highlight this special wine. Now, Port is not an inexpensive wine so this dessert is decadent but it is also simple to prepare. It's a show stopper dessert and one that will impress any dinner guest. Enjoy!

Serves 4

3 cups port wine
1 cup water
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
1 inch piece of ginger, chopped coarsely
1 cinnamon stick, snapped in half
1 vanilla bean
4 pears, peeled and cored
1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed if frozen
Sanding sugar
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water


1. Combine the port wine, water, honey, sugar, ginger and cinnamon stick in a saucepan big enough to just fit the pears.

2. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, then run the knife down both halves to scrape out the brown seeds. Add the bean and seeds to the saucepan. Heat saucepan over medium high until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium.

3. Lay the pears in the poaching liquid on their sides. Poach the pears for about 20 minutes until they are folk tender. Turn the pears occasionally to allow them to poach evenly. Remove the pears from the poaching liquid and allow them to cool.

4. Increase the heat to high to start reducing the poaching liquid. Reduce the liquid until it has a syrupy consistency, strain to remove the cinnamon sticks, ginger and vanilla pod.  Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.

5. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Cut 3/4 of the puff pastry into 8 long strips using a sharp knife. Cut the remaining puff pastry into 8 leaf shapes and score the tops to resemble veins.

6. Wrap 2 puff pastry strips around the outside of each pear, starting from the bottom. Overlap the strips to make sure the pears are completely cover. Wet the back of 2 leaves for each pear with water and attach to the top of each pear.

7. Brush each pear with the egg wash and sprinkle the pears with sanding sugar. The egg wash will help the sanding sugar stick to the puff pastry.

8. Carefully place the pears on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30  minutes until the puff pastry is golden brown.

9. Serve each pear on a thin bed of port syrup and a scoop of ice cream.


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Someday I plan to go to the Douro Valley on a weeks culinary vacation where hey are cooking with Port. I have a bottle sitting on a shelf from from my soon to be Portuguese inlaws.

Domesblissity said...

These look beautiful. I'm pinning.

Anne xx

Unknown said...

That looks like a beautiful Christmas ornament, which would make it a little hard for me to cut into. Seeing as that I have a bit of a sweet tooth however, and considering the sugar coma that I would be in afterwards I'd easily get over it.

Dragon's Kitchen - Copyright 2007-2010