• Dessert

Spiced Marsala Poached Pears

  • 5 MINS
  • |
  • 15 MINS
  • |
  • SERVES 4-5

An easy autumn dessert that is on the table in 20 minutes, inspired by our latest Still Life limited-edition print.


We like to use Bosc pears but Packham pears are also lovely. Lots of recipes call for rubbing the peeled pears with lemon so they don’t oxidise and turn brown, but if you peel them just before you drop them into the pot, you won’t have to bother with the lemon juice.

Spiced Marsala Poached Pears


  • - 4 bosc pears
  • - 250ml marsala wine
  • - 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • - 1 star anise
  • - 8 cloves
  • - 1 cinnamon stick
  • - 1 tbls lemon juice
  • - lemon/orange rind


  1. In a large pot, combine wine, sugar, spices and citrus rind over medium-high heat. Add a cup or so of water - enough so that the pears will be submerged.Stir and bring to a simmer until the sugar has dissolved
  2. In the meantime, prep your pears. Leave the stem in tact and peel the skins. Cut the bottom of the pear off (this will help them stand up beautifully when serving) and using a small paring knife, corer or teaspoon, remove the core and pips from the pear from the bottom.
  3. Carefully drop the pears into the poaching liquid and bring back to temperature. Simmer for around 15 minutes (this will depend on the size and ripeness of your pears), or until tender but still in tact.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pears and set aside. Remove the spices and citrus rind from the poaching liquid then bring back up to a boil to reduce and create a syrup.
  5. Serve each pear in a bowl with vanilla icecream, drizzled with the spiced syrup.