Desserts/ Fall/ Recipe/ Wine/ Winter

Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears & Creamy Ricotta

It isn’t up for debate – it’s a proven, medical, scientific, dictionarial fact: Second hand shops are pretty much the best places ever.

Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears & Creamy Ricotta Recipe -

Okay, maybe not.

Truth be told, they aren’t quite the sexiest places on the planet. I often find them to be the exact opposite of that. I don’t know if it’s the stark florescent lighting, the price tags with the stickum on the back that never fully comes off or what MUST be the stale scented industry standard laundry soap they use on all the clothes because every second hand shop I’ve ever been in smells exactly the same. Kind of like gymnasiums. Or dive bars. Regardless, none of that stops me going to them in search of hidden food prop gemery.

Pear Orchard in Kelowna BC - SheEats.caFresh Bartlett Pears - SheEats.caPear Orchards -

In fact, I’m pretty sure I found the mecca of hidden food prop gemery in the form of thrift store the other day. Sexy or bust, I always say.

We’re talking vintage bowls, silver platters, cocktail glasses of every shape and size and form, and what I must say is an incredible array of some of the most beautiful (and coveted) food prop cutlery. Everything a budding food pornographer could ever want. It was propgasmic.

Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears & Creamy Ricotta Recipe - SheEats.caSpiced Red Wine Poached Pears & Creamy Ricotta Recipe -

Good lord, I’m making up a lot of words in this post, aren’t I? Evidently that’s what sociologists do – or so the stories I’ve been told go – and as someone who studied sociology in University, I’ll allow it.

So I guess it isn’t up for debate – it’s a proven, medical, scientific, dictionarial fact: Second hand shops are pretty much not the  best places ever. They’re cold, bright and generally smell funny. They’re certainly not sexy. But they’re great for cheap props!

Speaking of trying to keep warm and sexy – did that segue work? – the dessert that I have for you today, does just that. And not just because the cheese adds an extra layer of warming fat (love handles) beneath your skin. It’s loaded with Fall/Winter flavours of warm cinnamon, fresh lemon and luscious red wine. Because let’s be sure: Red wine is in fact, a Winter weather flavour.

Rustic Cabin in Kelowna BC Pear Orchard -

And as Christmas creeps closer (and by creeps, what I really mean is railroads me into the garland strung ground – would that be painful or awesome?), these gems are guaranteed to make an appearance on my holiday table. Be it breakfast, dessert, late-night feeding – they’re beautiful, kind of vintage and cheap like me on the 3rd date. Or at least like the bowls they were served in. 

Seriously guys. This Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears & Creamy Ricotta recipe – which I actually originally posted way back in 2011 –  is oh so easy (again, kind of like me on the 3rd date). Who would ever argue with a cheese and wine poached pear course? Or a cheap and easy writer with a pot full of wine for that matter? No one, that’s who.

….Unless maybe they don’t like pears. Or can’t eat cheese. Or don’t entertain writers. All of which would be a sad day in the world of me.

Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears & Creamy Ricotta Recipe -

It isn’t up for debate – it’s a proven, medical, scientific, dictionarial fact: Pears are scrumptiously delicious. And they’re even more so when they’re cooked in wine. And dished up in plates you found at the thrift store. And washed thoroughly.

Yep. This is a damn sexy place to be. Even if the thrift shop isn’t.

Warm Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears with Creamy Ricotta


  • 4 Firm, Ripe Pears (Bartlett work well if not too ripe)
  • The Juice of 2 Lemons
  • 1 1/2 C Dry Red Wine
  • 1 C Water
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 C Sugar (you could use white here OR organic cane or honey would be interesting too)
  • 8 Thin Slices of Lemon + 8 Thin Slices of Lemon for Serving


  1. Place lemon juice in a shallow bowl and peel and core the pears. You can do this by slicing them in half and removing the pear cores with a pairing knife, or, if you have a corer just plunge that baby head first into the center of the fruit and pull out the core. As you do this, gently toss the pears in the lemon juice to prevent browning.
  2. Put the red wine, cinnamon, sugar, 8 lemon slices, and 1 C of water in a medium saucepan over low-medium heat and simmer gently until the sugar dissolves, stirring often.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to simmer the mixture for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the pears and simmer for a further 20 minutes, carefully turning occasionally if necessary to ensure even colouring.
  5. Cover and leave the pears to soak in the syrup at least 6 hours (or overnight).
  6. Before serving, remove the pears and simmer the syrup over high heat for about 15 minutes or until it thickens slightly.
  7. About an hour before serving, place ricotta in a colander to drain any excess liquid. Serve the pears with some of the syrup mixture, a slice of fresh lemon and some drained ricotta cheese.
  8. Eat.


What are you feelings on thrift stores? Ever find any hidden gems? Make up your own words? What do you poach pears in? What’s in your mouth right now? Spill it!

  • Becky
    December 8, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    I love thrift shops. I freely admit that most of our stuff is thrifted. Over the years, I’ve had some huge scores, with one of the best being a divine wool oriental rug, easily a $3,000 rug for $50 that literally landed at my feet one day. There’s the mid-century floor lamp with original fiberglass shade for $15, all the talbots dresses I’ve gotten for myself for $1 with the original tags still on them, the j. crew leather purse I currently carry that I scooped up for $3…just the other day I felt the call of the thrifts and managed to get a $2 lampshade for my brand new free mid-century lamp I found by the side of the road.
    As for pears, I’ve never actually poached them myself. I know, right?
    Becky recently published…My version of Uncle Kevin’s Oyster Stew.My Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 14, 2014 at 11:26 AM

      That’s AMAZING Becky! It sounds like you’ve had a ton of luck at the thrift shop. Really, buying new all the time is so unnecessary. I think I want to go thrifting with YOU.

  • Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie)
    December 8, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    Stunning! I mean it…both the bowls and the pears. What a lovely ending to a meal. As to the other stuff… love second hand store but sparingly. You learn to know the good one from the junk ones. Recently found a stunner of a washstand painted cherry red…like me:) It looks perfect in my room…though there isn’t any cooking involved there …sigh:(
    Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) recently published…Weird… Where’s The Justice?My Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 14, 2014 at 11:27 AM

      Doesn’t even matter Jacqueline – I love washstands. Especially when they’re painted fun colours. What a fantastic find! #Jealous

      PS. Thank you so much for your kind words about the photos. Really, wine makes everything pretty. haha..

  • Heather Gardiner
    December 9, 2014 at 6:56 AM

    Thrift shops are amazing, I love antique stores more though. Have you been in Lois Lane in Kelowna? It’s a must see.
    Love this recipe – wine and pears, two things we have lots of right now.
    Heather Gardiner recently published…Lego Mini Figure Board: A Pinterest Success Story!My Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 14, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      Heather I haven’t! I’ll have to check it out when I’m in town next (which is in a couple of days). I find antique shops to be more expensive but you can find some real gems in them too.

  • Denver Photographer
    December 9, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    Those look fantastic. I love the color!
    Denver Photographer recently published…Denver Headshot Photographer { Chuck }My Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 14, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      Thank you so much 🙂 It’s great to see you!

  • Kirsten
    December 9, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    I work in a thrift shop, and while the smell doesn’t bother me at all (especially when I’m cooking and it smells yummy) I do love getting to shop for a ton of stuff! Sadly they know just how $$ Polish pottery is, so I never get that there, but the rest . . . awesome.
    I’ve got cases of oranges from the band fruit fundraiser–but I want pears now!
    Kirsten recently published…Teriyaki Roasted MushroomsMy Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 14, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      Did I know that Kirsten??? That’s awesome! Do you get first dibs then? That’s gotta be awesome!

      PS. I’ll share my pears if you share your oranges.

  • Rhiannon | Paperclips and Peonies
    December 11, 2014 at 5:37 PM

    This is dreamy. Not only how I’m imagining this tastes like, but the styling and story as well. Step 8 is my favourite!
    Rhiannon | Paperclips and Peonies recently published…Tis the season for exam time!My Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 14, 2014 at 11:31 AM

      HAHA – I had to scroll up to see what step eight was Rhiannon. It’s my favourite too 😉

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