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Marsala Poached Pears

Marsala Poached Pears

This post was sponsored by Holland House Cooking Wines, as always the opinions expressed are my own.

Marsala Poached Pears are a wonderful and easy to prepare dessert to serve at a fall dinner party or Thanksgiving. It is a dessert centered around fall flavors that has sweetness without being too sweet. I love that it is a lighter dessert. It is easy to eat an entire poached pear even after a big meal.

To prepare this dessert you simply peel the pears, slice bottoms so they will stand upright, and then poach the pears in a mixture of boiling Holland House Marsala Cooking Wine, lemon juice, cinnamon, clove, sugar, and vanilla. The pears cook in 10-20 minutes (depending on how ripe they are) and then you reduce the wine sauce into a syrup. It is a recipe that can be prepared in under 30 minutes, and you can make it a few hours in advance.

The Marsala wine brings out the sweetness in the pears and lends richness to their flavor. The touch of vanilla, clove, and cinnamon is noticeable without overwhelming the taste of the pear. It is an incredibly satisfying combination of flavors.

The pears were so incredibly pretty that I couldn’t resist keeping them on the table during dinner. They gave dinner guests something to look forward to as we ate dinner. I served these poached pears at my pre-Thanksgiving party, and they were a nice alternative to pie.

I cooked five pears, but you could make a double batch just as long as you have a large enough pot. You just want to make sure that there is enough room for the pears to stand upright in the bottom of the pot. I recommend trying to find smaller pears since they are the perfect portion. I found smaller pears at my local farmers market.

You could serve the pears with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I love the pears on their own, but the Marsala sauce is delicious over some ice cream!

Marsala Poached Pears


  • 5 Small Pears
  • 1 1/4 cup Holland House Marsala Cooking Wine
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • a dash of Ground Clove


  1. Slice the bottom off the pear so that they will stand upright. Then peel the pears.
  2. Combine the Holland House Marsala Cooking Wine, lemon juice, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and ground clove in a pot bit and tall enough to fit all of the pears. Whisk together and bring to a simmer. Then add the pears. Cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the pears are soft.
  3. Then remove the pears from the pot, and let the remaining marsala wine sauce reduce until it becomes thick and syrupy. This will take about 5 minutes, keep a close eye on the sauce as it reduces and stir frequently.
  4. Serve the pears with the Marsala wine sauce drizzled over the top.

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