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Spun Sugar Poached Pears

These spun sugar poached pears look much more difficult than they actually are.  The resulting dessert is perfect for any special occasion.

Spun Sugar Poached pearsI am normally not one for fancy desserts that take a lot of time to prepare.  I just don’t have the extra time that they require. 

But this recipe for spun sugar poached pears is one that I don’t mind doing. The end result is so impressive, but the actual process is not really difficult at all and does not take a long time.  Much of it is done in the microwave. It does get a bit messy but that gets better with practice.

Spun sugar is made from sugar, and water that is allowed to boil to a caramel consistency. While cooking the sugar. it gets to a certain stage where long thin strands, almost like angel hair, are made when you dip a fork into it and wave it back and forth.  The main thing to remember when working with it, is to be careful, since it gets extremely hot.

*Note:  Superfine sugar is also called castor sugar.  If you cannot find, it you can make your own with sugar and a food processor.  Just use extra granulated sugar over the amount you need and process in a food processor for 1-2 minutes.

For this recipe, the pears are first poached in a wine syrup, then cooled and put on serving plates. Then you make the spun sugar and spin it around the pears in a circular motion.

Spun Sugar Poached pearsPerfect for any dinner party or special occasion, this dessert will really wow your friends.  The first part of the recipe can be made ahead and the spun sugar made just before serving.


Yield: 4

Spun Sugar Poached Pears

Spun Sugar Poached Pears

These spun sugar poached pears look much more difficult than they actually are.  The resulting dessert is perfect for any special occasion.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • 2/3 cup of water
  • 2/3 cup of Madiera wine
  • 1/2 cup of sugar, superfine is best
  • 2 tbsp of lime juice
  • 4 pears, peeled with the stems intact. (Ripe pears are best)
  • 4 springs of fresh mint, to garnish.
  • For the spun sugar:
  • 1/2 cup of superfine sugar
  • 3 tbsp of water


  1. Mix the water, wine, sugar and lime juice in a large microwave safe baking dish. Cover and cook on high for 3 minutes. Be sure to stir well so that the sugar dissolves well.
  2. Cut a slice from the bottom of each pear so that it sits well in the baking dish. Spoon the wine syrup mixture over the pears, cover and cook on high for 10 minutes, turning the pears in the syrup every few minutes. Let cool in the covered dish.
  3. Remove the pears and place on serving dishes. Cook the syrup on high for 15 minutes until it is reduced by half. Spoon it over the pears.
  4. To make the spun sugar, mix the sugar and water in a bowl. Cook it uncovered on high for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir so the sugar is dissolved. Continue cooking for an additional 5-6 minutes until the sugar has caramelized, stirring every so often.
  5. Wait for the caramel bubbles to subside and then let it stand for 2 minutes. Dip a fork into the caramel and spin the sugar around each pear in a circular motion.
  6. Serve immediately, decorated with a sprig of mint.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 360Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 8mgCarbohydrates: 87gFiber: 8gSugar: 72gProtein: 1g

Nutritional information is approximate due to natural variation in ingredients and the cook-at-home nature of our meals.

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