Spiced Whisky Poached Pears

Spiced Whisky Poached Pears

These spiced whisky poached pears are a great way to enjoy those wintery days. Spiced with whisky, cinnamon, cloves and vanilla they warm the heart and taste delicious with some fresh cream on the side.

The tradition of poaching pears has been around for a very long time. In 1864 the famous French chef Auguste Escoffier inspired by the operetta La belle Héléne created a dish with poached pears, ice cream and chocolate sauce.

I have adapted this all-time classic with hot toddy ingredients and boy do they taste good. To give the pears a nice rich golden colour I add a little turmeric. This is an easy recipe and I find leaving the pears overnight in the poaching liquid to steep gets the best flavour.

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    For this spiced whisky poached pear recipe all you need are these ingredients:

    • Pears
    • Whisky
    • Cinnamon stick
    • Whole cloves
    • Ground turmeric
    • Ground ginger
    • Vanilla pod
    • Brown sugar

    Vanilla recommendations: pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste or vanilla pods.

    Sweetness: Try changing the sweetness, swapping out the brown sugar for caster sugar, honey, maple syrup or a combination.

    Choose a firm pear-like Bocs, Conference or Anjou, softer pears like Starkrimson, Comice or Bartlett, while tasty, will fall apart during poaching.


    This is one of those recipes which you can customize to suit your taste, adding various spices, fruit rinds, or wine to the mix. Here are a few ideas:

    • No alcohol: If you wish not to use alcohol, simply omit it from the recipe.
    • Wine version: Replace the water with your favourite white or red wine and remove the turmeric
    • Cider Version: Try cider as another great alternative to water. Just swap like for like.

    If you experiment, I would love to know how you get on and share it with the other readers.


    These measuring spoons are really handy for getting the right measurements of those small ingredients. I also like the fact that they are magnetic, sticking together and narrow to fit into spice jars.

    I think I have said it before that I am not a big fan of plastic, so I like this type of glass measuring jug for calculating my liquids.

    I like this size of pan for making jams etc..

    The Gourmet Larder is an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

    TIP: I highly recommend using metric measurements and a digital kitchen scale, rather than cup measurements. If you have ever ended up with dry, dense or crumbly baked goods, it might be because of inaccurate volume measurements, not all measuring cups are made equally. All my recipes on this blog are carefully developed so that you can easily recreate them in your own kitchen with success, using metric measurements. It is also a lot easier, less messy and you will get far better, consistent results. 🙂
    If you are interested in understanding conversions, here you will find the best conversion chart.


    Serving: one spiced whisky poached pear

    Nutrition information can vary for a recipe based on factors such as precision of measurements, brands, ingredient freshness, or the source of nutrition data.

    I strive to keep the information as accurate as possible but make no warranties regarding its accuracy.

    I encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.


    These pears can be stored in their poaching liquid for up to a week in the fridge.

    Alternatively, they can be put into jars and sterilised.

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    Spiced Whisky Poached Pears

    Spiced Whisky Poached Pears

    Preparation:10 minutes
    Poaching:20 minutes
    Total:30 minutes
    Servings: 4
    These poached pears are a great way to enjoy those wintery days. Spiced with whisky, cinnamon, cloves and vanilla they warm the heart and taste delicious with some fresh cream on the side.


    • 4 whole pears
    • 50 ml whisky
    • 1 stick cinnamon
    • 5 whole cloves
    • ½ tsp ground ginger
    • 1 vanilla pod (optional)
    • 300 g light brown sugar
    • ½ tsp ground turmeric
    • 1 litre water


    • Peel the four pears, leaving the stalk intact.
    • Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan with 1 litre of water, bring to a simmer.
    • Next, we want to stop the pears from drying out where they sit above the liquid, but we also want the liquid to reduce as the pears poach. If you have a lid which has a small hole to allow steam to escape place it on top, otherwise you can use a standard lid, it just means that when you come to reducing down the liquid after poaching it will take a little longer.
    • Alternatively, you can make a cartouche using parchment paper. A cartouche is different from a standard lid because it allows steam to escape. It sounds fancy, but it’s really easy to make.
    • Cut out a round of parchment paper that will fit inside the saucepan. Cut a smaller round in the centre to allow for evaporation. Place on top of the pears.
    • Poaching: Gently poach the pears for about 20 minutes.
    • Remove from the heat, allow to cool, then refrigerate overnight if possible to allow the pears to absorb and infuse all the flavours of the syrup.
    • Before serving, remove the pears and set aside to bring to room temperature.
    • These pears are great served with the liquid and the best way is to reduce the liquid until it becomes a thick syrup.
    • Remove the pears with a slotted spoon and strain out the spices, then cook the liquid over medium-high heat until it’s reduced by about half, about 300ml.
    • Serving: Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of glaze over the pears, then serve with fresh cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce.
    • Any leftover poaching liquid or syrup can be used to drizzle over yoghurt, oatmeal, or pancakes or used to moisten cake layers during assembly and frosting.
    KEYWORDS autumn recipes, easy recipe, fruit recipes, poached pears


    Poached pears


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