Sweet, end-of-season pears are complemented by warm spices, earthy red wine and honey-whipped goat cheese in this show-stopping, surprisingly simple dessert. While not required, steeping the pears in their poaching liquid overnight in the fridge will deepen the color for a pleasingly dramatic presentation. Bonus: this dish lends itself well to prep the night before to ease hosting duties when you’re entertaining!

Featured Cheese
Original Log
Red Wine Poached Pears with Honey Whipped Goat Cheese


  • 5 pears
  • 1 bottle of Sonoma red wine (750 ml)
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 4 all spice berries
  • 1 vanilla pod or 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz Laura Chenel Original Goat Cheese Log
  • 2 TBS honey
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup toasted and chopped hazelnuts
  • Ground cinnamon


  1. Peel the pears, keeping the stems attached. Cut in half lengthwise and remove the core using a ½ tsp measuring spoon or small spoon.
  2. Put prepared pears into a medium-sized pot. Add in the wine, orange juice and zest, sugar, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, allspice berries, and vanilla. If needed, top with water to ensure that the pears are submerged in poaching liquid.
  3. Cover and slowly simmer over medium low heat until pears can be easily pierced with the tip of a knife, about 15 minutes. Remove the pears from the liquid. (Note: strain the poaching liquid and serve it as a delicious mulled wine).
  4. Make the honey whipped goat cheese by adding the goat cheese, honey, heavy cream and a pinch of salt into a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer or whisk, whip together until thick and fluffy.
  5. To serve, dollop and smear a spoonful of whipped honey goat cheese into a bowl or onto a plate. Top with 1 poached pear half and a handful of toasted hazelnuts. Finish with a light dusting of cinnamon.
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