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Poached pears in blackberry wine

Want a smart but easy pud to serve to friends then this is it and it looks simply stunning. Make it earlier in the day and leave to chill until needed.


Serves 6


Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes


300 ml (½ pint) cheap red wine

200 ml (7 fl oz.) water

75 g (3 oz.) caster sugar

225 g (8 oz.) blackberries

6 pears

1 cinnamon stick, halved

6 cloves

1 tablespoon cornflour


  1. Choose a saucepan that the pears will fit snugly into then add the wine, water and sugar to the pan. Add half the blackberries and heat gently for 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Crush the blackberries with a potato masher, press the syrup through a sieve and discard the blackberry seeds then return the syrup to the saucepan.
  2. Peel the pears leaving the stalks on then add to the blackberry wine with the cinnamon and cloves. Simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, turning the pears until evenly coloured.
  3. Lift the pears out of the wine and transfer to a bowl. Mix the cornflour with a little water in a cup until a smooth paste. Stir into the blackberry wine then bring to the boil, stirring until thickened and smooth. Pour the syrup over the pears then add the remaining blackberries and leave to cool.
  4. Serve with spoonfuls of amaretti cream, see tip.



Amaretti cream – break 25 g (1 oz.) crisp amaretti biscuits into small pieces with fingertips then fold into a 250 ml (8 fl oz.) carton of full fat crème fraiche.

The pears can be covered and left at room temperature for 2-3 hours or can be made the day before and chilled in the fridge if preferred, but take out of the fridge about 30-60 minutes before serving so that they do not taste too cold.