Blood Orange Poached Pears

January 10, 2018

Blood Orange Poached Pears are made with only five simple ingredients and no added sweeteners! A simple and elegant dessert for any occasion!

Blood Orange Poached Pears on White Plate


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Don’t these blood orange poached pears look delicious? I’m so excited to have my assistant and fellow registered dietitian nutritionist Emily Cooper here today to share the recipe with you all. Plus, she put together an awesome recipe video showing you just how easy they are to make! As you’ll read below, Emily and I are alike in our dislike of cold weather and love of citrus fruits. I also may or may not have had very orange hands as a child. 😉 Where we differ is in my love of skiing – I’ve been doing it since I was three years old, long before the cold bothered me as much as it does now! For more of Emily’s recipes and writing, check out her blog Sinful Nutrition.

by Emily Cooper, RDN

I am not a big fan of winter. There I said it. Born and raised a New England girl, I still shun all things winter and snow related. I don’t know how or have any desire to ski. Or snowmobile. Or build an igloo. Complaining about winter? Like the back of my mittened hand.

The only thing I look forward to once the I-can’t-feel-my-limbs season comes in full force is the FOOD. Soul-warming soups. Hearty bowls of oatmeal to thaw my hands around. And citrus. All. The. Citrus.

I should be glowing with immunity with the obscene amounts of citrus fruits I consume from December to March. I’m just thankful oranges don’t give me that Cheeto-esque glow like carrots do if you eat too many of them. Not that I would know from experience or anything.

Clementines, grapefruit, the classic navel, or even a lemon slice or two if I’m feeling adventurous, I don’t discriminate my love for citrus. Although I will say, blood oranges always seem to steal the spotlight whenever they’re in town.

Blood Orange Poached Pears on Plate

Ingredients & Preparation

When I would teach nutrition classes to kindergarten and first grade, I would always have a lesson on citrus in the winter. I’d have them try all different types of citrus fruits. Clementines were always the easy win. Grapefruits were a toss up. Limes always made me feel like we should be downing tequila shots afterwards (if first graders were about 16 years older that is).

Even though I would forewarn them that blood oranges are named for their color, NOT because they actually contain blood, a unison bellow of surprise and awe would rain over the entire classroom, followed by something along the lines of “I’m not a vampire, so I’m not eating blood!”

Until they tasted how sweet and juicy “blood” could actually be. The rest is history.

Blood Orange Poached Pears Close Up

I was able to find blood orange juice to make these blood orange poached pears at Whole Foods, so if you have a speciality grocery store in your area, that’s probably your best bet. If not, you can always mix equal parts of regular orange juice with pomegranate juice to get the same color and sweetness.

The smell of the mixture simmering away on the stove fills your house with all the holiday feels, even if it’s after the hustle and bustle is long gone and all you’re left with is dirty snow and salty cars for two more months.

These blood orange poached pears are such an easy dessert that always look so much more elegant and sophisticated than the actual effort they take to prepare (just check out my video below to see for yourself how easy it is). They’re a great way to enjoy the fruits and flavors of the season, even if you’re not a vampire. 😉

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Blood Orange Poached Pears are made with only five simple ingredients, and no added sweeteners. A simple and elegant dessert for any occasion! #vegan #glutenfree #noaddedsugar

Blood Orange Poached Pears

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Blood Orange Poached Pears are made with only five simple ingredients, and no added sweeteners. A simple and elegant dessert for any occasion!


  • 1 1/2 cups blood orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Zest from one orange, (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 4 Bosc pears, , peeled, stems intact


  1. Combine juice, spices, and zest in a medium-sized saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add peeled pears to juice mixture, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer pears for 15 to 20 minutes, spooning juice over pears often. Remove pears from juice, and set aside to cool.
  3. Simmer juice until mixture reduces by about 1/2. About 15 minutes. Spoon sauce over pears, and serve.

Have you ever made poached pears before?

What’s your favorite citrus fruit?

Share with me in the comments below!

Blood orange poached pears recipe pin

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  1. I’ve never actually tried to poach anything though I’ve heard the term a lot. Great directions!

  2. Well these just sound amazing, I’ve never made poached pears but it sounds super easy. Sounds like a nice treat for the weekend!

  3. Come to my house and make this…we have a blood orange tree! Your recipe sounds and looks like something I need to try! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. And without a drop of added sugar – what an amazing treat! I had no idea there was such a thing as blood orange juice.

    1. Yup! No reason to add any sugar when you have such a naturally sweet dessert. And yes, blood orange juice is really popular in Europe. I first had it when I studied abroad in Florence, Italy.

  5. Ha, I remember when I was teaching there was a healthy food tasting program at our school. The kids would taste all sorts of fruits and veggies. Blood oranges caused quite a stir!

  6. 5 stars
    I am not a big fan of winter, actually I hate it! BUT, recipes like this make it sort of worth while, and I’ve been craving pears, so I can’t wait to get in the kitchen to make this! Thanks Em and Jess!

    1. Haha…I can absolutely relate! While I hate the cold, I love the change of seasons and with them the variety of produce they bring. Hope you get some pears asap so you can make this Emily!

  7. YUM! Two of my favorite fruits in one dessert. I love the idea of poaching the pears – makes for such a pretty and tasty treat!

  8. You had me at ‘blood orange’ which is one of my favorite flavors. Add it to fresh pears and this makes a delicious treat.

  9. 5 stars
    Gorgeous! Can’t wait to try this. Love the idea of sub’ing some pomegranate if I can’t find the blood orange juice. Will look for it. Looks easy + elegant for a lovely dessert!

  10. What a perfect way to combine my favorite fall fruit and my favorite winter fruit! Poached pears are so delicious, and I can only imagine how great that sweet kick from the blood oranges must be. (And so pretty, too!!)

  11. 5 stars
    I have always loved blood oranges. Like your first graders, I think it’s the color! This is a great dessert idea for after the holidays … now that I have to actually comes to terms with all the sugary stuff I ate last month.

  12. 5 stars
    I love this desert! It’s perfect for someone like me, who follows a mostly paleo diet. I’ll be keeping this one in my back pocket!

  13. That video was so good! I’m in love with poached pears. Should try this one as well. Usually, I use wine, but that one sounds interesting 🙂

  14. I haven’t poached pears in a while… and just look at those gorgeous blood oranges! This needs to happen very soon. Nice work Jessica!

  15. 5 stars
    I saw this on Pinterest yesterday, and thought it looked so pretty! I love how easy it is to make too. I’m with you on skiing (love it), with Emily on citrus fruit (love it), and have mixed feelings about winter weather. I just got back from hot and humid (and beautiful) Thailand, so I am actually craving cooler temps right now, but I know that will only last for 1 week or 2 🙂 Happy New Year Jessica!

  16. Confession – I have never had a poached pear in my life! I love pears so I’m not sure why it’s never crossed my path but this recipe is absolutely stunning and too good to pass up.

  17. 5 stars
    Oh this looks absolutely delicious. I have stock of pears from my grandma’s garden. i think I’ll be making these this weekend.

  18. So, it’s Easter Sunday 2020, year of the virus.my husband and I are social distancing from other people. We had a steak in the freezer and I was lucky enough to snag pears and baking potatoes from Walmart pick up this week. Last week I was lucky enough to get a bag of blood oranges. So I decided to make a flourless chocolate cake, looking for something to do with the pears and oranges, and here I am. Stay safe!

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