Sous Vide: Pears Poached in Red Wine

Sous vide is not just about proteins and starches. It also lends its precision to poaching apples. and, in this case, pears.


Pears, your choice, 1 each. We used Bosc for this demonstration.

Red wine, 2 cups/450 ml.
Sugar, 1 cup/225 ml.
Kosher salt, a pinch.

Crème Anglaise or melted vanilla ice cream, 2 oz/60 ml.
Fine chopped walnuts, 2 oz/60 g.
Zest from one orange.
Fresh mint leaves.



Equipment requirements:

Immersion circulator.
Lipavi C10 heat rated container with lid.
Lipavi L10 rack or equivalent.
Heat rated sous vide bags.
Fruit corer.
Paring knife.
Tweezers (optional).
Squirt bottles, 2 each.

Above: Lipavi C10 container, N10 polycarbonate racks. Lipavi C10L-UNIR lid.

Actual prep time: 30 minutes
Level of difficulty: 2.5
Serves 4


Make the red wine reduction: combine the red wine, sugar and a pinch of salt in a sauce pan and reduce to 0.75 cups/175 ml. The reduction should coat the back of a spoon. Allow to cool and transfer to a squirt bottle.

Preheat the sous vide bath to 183 F/84 C.

Place the pear on a clean work surface. Measure the corer up against the pear so you can tell how far to insert it.

You want to go just slightly more than HALF way through.

Rock the corer back and forth in the hope that the core will break and come out in one piece, but don’t be disappointed if this does not work. In most cases, a paring knife or melon baller must be used to carefully dig out the core. Tweezers come in handy too.

Make sure that all the seeds are removed unless you don’t care.

Remove vertical strips of peel in single strokes, starting at the top of the pear and working your way down.

Load individual pears into heat rated sous vide bags and add 1 oz/30 ml of the wine reduction. Vacuum seal the packages. Tips and Tricks: press the “seal” button on your channel vacuum device before it starts to pull the syrup into the device. A little air in the bag is not a problem. An alternative is to use a small Ziploc type bag–just remove as much air as possible before sealing. This is not generally an issue with chamber vacuum devices.

Process the pears for 30 minutes at 183 F/84 C. Cold shock the package(s) in iced tap water until they achieve 70 F/21 C. Refrigerate at 40 F/4 C. Remove the pear from the bag carefully so as not to spill the contents of the cavity. The juice in the bag is delicious and wholesome but will have thinned out during the cooking process. It can be reduced, cooled and used again. There should be enough of the original reduction to decorate each plate.

Put a shallow pool of the melted ice cream on the plate. Draw a concentric pinwheel with the thick red wine reduction.

Use a tooth pick to draw lines across the plate–half from the edge towards the center, the other half from the center to the edge.

Dip one side of the pear in the walnuts and place in the middle of the plate.

The orange zest is lacquered in syrup, making it sticky. Yes. Tweezers are the secret.

The sprig of mint is dipped in the vanilla sauce for the same purpose. Such is the curse of the cook assigned to the dessert station.


Sous vide=uniform appearance of doneness.

It’s a beautiful thing.


Be sure to visit us on Facebook at SVR–Sous Vide Resources; Low Temperature Pasteurization, Sous-B-Q™, | Facebook



There are eating pears and there are cooking pears. As Bartlett's ripen, they sweeten and soften almost like a peach. Pears like Bosc remain crisp and will shrivel before they can achieve any measure of "Bartlett-ness." They may sweeten somewhat after a week on the counter, but the texture can be somewhat mealy/fibrous. This is a challenge/invitation to a cook's creativity.

I'd like to give a hug to the first person to use sweetened red (or port) wine as a poaching liquid for cooking pears. I can't think of a single other thing that's poached in red, but it sure works for a Bosc.