Pears in red wine with rice pudding

A recipe from Stephen Markwick  

Stephen always likes pears but will only use them in the autumn – he says they don’t taste as good at any other time of the year. Partnering them with rice pudding makes them real comfort food. Any leftover pears in wine can be turned into jellies.

The rice pudding recipe produces creamy pudding without a skin, but you can always cook it in a cool oven if you prefer to have a skin.

Serves 8


  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 350 – 400g granulated sugar
  • 8 ripe eating pears (e.g. William or Comice)
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lenghtways
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 – 5 cloves


  1. Pour the wine into a large saucepan, tip in the sugar and place over a low heat for the sugar to dissolve.
  2. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick and vanilla pod. Bring up to a simmering point.
  3. While you’re dissolving the sugar and infusing the spices, peel the pears being careful to leave the stalk intact.
  4. Add the pears to the red wine and cover with greaseproof paper using a plate to keep them submerged.
  5. Bring the wine back up to a very low simmer until the pears are cooked (approximately 10 -15 minutes).
  6. When the pears are soft leave them to cool in the wine to intensify the colour.

For the rice pudding


  • 100 g butter
  • 150g pudding rice
  • 5 litres whole milk (i.e. not semi-skimmed)
  • 225 g double cream
  • ½ a vanilla pod
  • Pinch of salt
  • 125 g granulated sugar


  1. Wash the rice
  2. Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed pan.
  3. Put the rice into the pan with the vanilla pod and pinch of salt and stir to coat the rice with the butter
  4. Add the milk and cream and bring up to simmering point. Cover the surface with a butter paper and leave on a very low heat for approximately two hours, stirring from time to time to stop it catching.
  5. The butter paper stops a skin forming but you could also cook it in a cool oven (150°C / Gas Mk 2) if you find this easier or prefer to have a skin.
  6. Once the rice pudding is thick and creamy, stir in the sugar to dissolve it.

To serve
Remove the pears carefully and transfer to a serving dish. Reduce the wine by approximately as third. Pour the wine over the pears and serve hot with the warm rice pudding