Seckel Pears in Mulled Red Wine

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Recipe from The Mystic Cookbook: The Secret Alchemy of Food by Denise and Meadow Linn, pictured (Hay House, $19.95)

International best-selling author Denise Linn and her daughter, food columnist Meadow Linn, open a portal for you to embark on the sacred journey from nourishment to nirvana and to harness the hidden dimension of food in The Mystic Cookbook: The Secret Alchemy of Food.

Seckel pears are small and sweet and make for an elegant dessert when poached in red wine and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The powerful combination of mulling spices creates a harmonious alchemy that will transport you back in time. With your first bite, you’ll feel as though you’re dining with medieval kings and listening to minstrels sing of far-off lands.

Seckel Pears in Mulled Red Wine
Serves 4-6

1½ cups sugar  
1 750 ml. bottle of full-bodied red wine
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
3 star anise pods 
5 whole cloves
4 approx. 3-inch long strips of orange peel, bitter white pith scraped or cut off 
12 seckel pears, ripe but not overly soft 

  • In a medium-sized pot (3 quarts) over medium heat, combine the sugar and wine. (If the pot is any larger, the pears will not be adequately covered by the wine.) Stir until the sugar dissolves completely. 

  • Add the cinnamon, star anise, cloves and orange peel. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

  • Meanwhile, peel the pears. Be sure to leave the stem intact for the prettiest presentation. Add the pears to the simmering wine. Adjust the temperature as needed so that the pears poach in liquid that’s just barely simmering with only occasional bubbles (don’t boil). 

  • Poach until the pears are soft and tender, about 1½ hours. If the wine doesn’t fully cover the pears, use a spoon to baste them from time to time and gently turn them over. This will ensure even cooking and color distribution. 


Serve warm (but not hot) with vanilla ice cream. 


The leftover syrup can be frozen to make a delicious slushy, or use it as a base for festive cocktails.

Categories: Food & Drink