Spooky Poached Pears

Spooky Poached Pears



  • 2 cups sweet white wine
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 4 pears, peeled and cored with stems attached (Bosc or Bartlett)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 16 raisins


  • Bring wine, water, spices, vanilla & lemon zest to a simmer over medium-high heat in a saucepan. Add pears & poach pears for 10 – 15 minutes or until tender.
  • Remove pears with a slotted spoon & set aside.
  • Add sugar to the poaching liquid. Return to a simmer & reduce by half, about 10 minutes. Strain poaching liquid in a bowl, discarding spices.
  • Cut pears in half and place on a cutting board with the stem side facing down. Next, cut out eyes & mouth for the pears. Make sure that you do not cut all the way through.
  • Place raisins in the eye sockets & serve two pear halves in a dish over the reduced poaching liquid.



Donatella Arpaia

Donatella Arpaia is a chef, restaurateur, entrepreneur, and mother. She has built an empire of successful restaurants drawing on the skills, passion, methods, and love for food she learned from her family.