Poached Pears in Pudding

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Poached Pears in Pudding 

When summer turns to fall, one of my favorite recipes to make is my mom's vanilla pudding. I can eat it by the bowlful, still warm from the bubbling pot. Yesterday, while on a six-hour road trip home from Ohio, I kept thinking of that pudding and the idea of serving it with another fall favorite, poached pears in wine sauce. This recipe is a combination of two favorites, and I must say it's a rather decadent dessert - perfect to serve during the upcoming holiday season.

Poached Pears in Pudding

Ingredients for Poached Pears (Poached pears inspired by Mimi Thorrison)

  • 1 bottle Louis Jadot Pinot Noir
  • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean,  cut open and seeds scraped loose 
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 - 6 large pears, peeled, with stems attached


In a Dutch Oven or large kettle, combine the wine and sugar over medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add vanilla bean and seeds, cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Carefully place pears in the kettle and cover. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 - 35 minutes.  Turn pears occasionally so they cook evenly, being careful not to damage stems. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate (covered) for about two hours or overnight.

Ingredients for Pudding
  • 1 cup whole milk (plus an additional 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • a pinch of sea salt


In a medium heavy-bottomed pan, heat 1 cup of milk until steaming. 

In the meantime, make a paste with the egg, flour, sugar and sea salt.  Then stir in approximately 1/2 cup milk until mixture can be poured.

When milk is steaming, pour the egg/flour/sugar mixture into the pan with the milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. In about a minute or two, the mixture will start to thicken to pudding consistency. Keep stirring as you remove from heat and stir until smooth. Set aside.

Remove poached pears from the refrigerator and lift them carefully onto a plate.  Measure out 1/4 cup of the wine sauce and stir into the pudding mixture until well-blended. 

To serve:

Divide the pudding into 4 - 6 stemmed cocktail glasses or dessert dishes.  Carefully place a poached pear in each dish, on top of the pudding. 

Remaining wine sauce:

The leftover wine sauce can be boiled down (by half) until it reaches a syrup consistency. It can be kept in the refrigerator and is delicious spooned over ice cream or other desserts.

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