Sweet White Wine & Saffron Poached Pears

served with mascarpone cheese

This delicately seasoned dish is so easy to make, and a definite favourite among guests. Use it to impress them, or to simply sit back and savour behind closed doors, all on your own.


  • 4 medium pears

  • 4 tsp lemon juice


  • 1 cup water

  • 1 cup sweet white wine

  • 50g sugar

  • 2 star anise

  • pinch of saffron threads

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste

  • zest of 1 orange

  • mascarpone to serve


  1. Peel the pears, sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning and set aside. Remember to leave the stalks intact.

  2. Add all the syrup ingredients into a heavy based saucepan. Stir continuously over a medium to high heat until sugar is dissolved, then allow mixture to boil.

  3. Drop the temperature slightly and add the pears. Make sure they are covered by the liquid then cover pan with a lid. Gently simmer pears for 20 – 25 minutes until tender. Remove pears from liquid and set aside.

  4. Boil the syrup further in the uncovered pot until it reduces by half.

  5. Pears can be served warm or cool. For warm pears, heat the pears in the syrup just before serving then add a dollop of mascarpone.