Cooking the pears in delicately floral Muscat wine makes for a light, elegant dessert--and leaves plenty of room for friends' pies, says Cindy Daniel of Healdsburg Shed in Northern California.

Cindy Daniel, Healdsburg Shed, Healdsburg, California
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Credit: Thomas J. Story

Recipe Summary test

1 hr 45 mins
Serves 12


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Peel pears, halve lengthwise (leaving stems on half of pieces), and core.

  • Put pears in a 5- to 6-qt. pot. Add wine and sugar. Scrape seeds from vanilla pod into pot, then add pod and water to barely cover pears (3 to 4 1/2 cups).

  • Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat; then reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until pears are as soft as butter when pierced with a knife, 30 minutes.

  • With a slotted spoon, transfer pears from pot to a large, wide bowl. Boil syrup, uncovered, over medium-high heat until reduced to 2 cups, 30 to 35 minutes; reduce heat if pan starts to scorch. Pour syrup over pears.

  • Spoon 1/4 cup crème fraîche into each dessert bowl and add a pear half to each. Stir syrup and drizzle over pears. Tuck in rose geranium leaves.

  • Make ahead: Through step 4, up to 1 day, chilled airtight.

Nutrition Facts

394 calories; calories from fat 51%; protein 2.6g; fat 22g; saturated fat 14g; carbohydrates 46g; fiber 3.8g; sodium 7.1mg; cholesterol 51mg.