Pears poached in Vin Santo

poached pears in dessert wine
PERE AL VINSANTO.  Vin Santo, literally meaning “holy wine,” is a sweet dessert wine traditionally produced in Central Italy and some areas of the North using dried grapes. This is one of my favorite recipes  in Antonio Carluccio‘s book “Italian Feast”. It makes a perfect conclusion to a hearty Umbrian meal of lentil soup followed by  torta al testo with sausages and cime di rapa.

  • 4 pears, ripe but not too soft (e.g. d’Anjou)
  • 1/2 bottle of Vin Santo or other dessert wine like Malvasia or Passito
  • 100 gr sugar
  • rind of 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • optional: 1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese per person

Peel the pears, so they absorb the wine while cooking, but leave them whole or halved. Put them in a non-reactive saucepan and cover with wine. Add the sugar, lemon rind and spices and poach with the lid on until tender. Remove the pears from the liquid and place them into individual serving bowls. Simmer the remaining liquid until reduced to a golden syrup and just starting to foam. Pour the syrup over the pears, allow to cool and serve garnished with a dollop of mascarpone or over homemade custard if desired.
Chantilly custard with poached pears


  1. Strabuone!
    The pere al vin santo were sooooo good, Letizia!
    Thank you thank you again for the great hospitality, gorgeous food and fun!
    Hugs to the 3 of you.

  2. I came upon this first-rate recipe a couple of days back, subsequently went yesterday morning to shop for the ingredients and made it for the evening meal, extremely scrumptious.

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