Spiced Pears With Cardamom Creme Fraîche

I created this recipe for the Holiday 2015 issue of Sweet Paul Magazine. View the original article here.

Serves 4


· 1 bottle red wine
· cinnamon sticks
· 4 whole star anise
· whole cloves
· 10 whole peppercorns
· 1 vanilla pod
· Fresh thyme sprigs
· The peel of one orange
· ⅓ c sugar
· 4 ripe firm bosc pears, peeled with stems intact

· ½ c creme fraîche
· ½ tsp ground cardamom
· 2 tsp confectioners sugar
· ½ tsp good vanilla extract


Halve the vanilla pod lengthways, scrape out black seeds and put them and the pod in a large saucepan with wine, sugar, cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, star anise, and thyme. Delicately slice off the bottom of each pear so they can stand upright when ready to serve. Lower them on their sides into liquid.

Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently, partially covered, for 1 to 1½ hours, or until pears are tender and the liquid has reduced. Baste pears with the spiced wine a few times during cooking, turning the pears over at least once so that both sides have a turn being fully submerged in the liquid.

Carefully remove pears and set aside. Boil liquid for 8-10 minutes or until thick and syrupy. In a separate bowl, add spices to creme fraîche and whisk until it just starts to thicken Serve pears with syrup drizzled over, thyme sprig, and cardamom creme fraîche.

Photography by Linda Pugliese, Food and Styling by Carlo Geraci

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