Prep 30 mins
Cook 4 mins
This is a really pretty dessert, because the pears get a red blush from the wine.
- 1 (750 ml) bottle red wine, I like merlot, a good label (if you wouldn't drink it, don't cook with it)
- 3⁄4 cup superfine sugar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1⁄2 lemon, juice of
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 2 inches piece orange rind
- 1 clove
- 1 black peppercorns
- 4 firm ripe pears
- whipped cream or sour cream, to serve
- Place the wine, sugar, honey, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, orange rind, clove and peppercorn in a saucepan just large enough to hold the pears standing upright. Heat gently, stirring occasionally until the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Meanwhile, peel the pears, leaving the stem intact. Take a thin slice off the bottom of each pear to keep it standing upright.
- Place the pears in the wine mixture, then simmer uncovered for 20-35 minutes depending on size and ripeness, until the pears are just tender; be careful not to overcook.
- Carefully transfer the pears to a bowl, using a slotted spoon. Continue to boil the poaching liquid until reduced bu about half. Let cool, then strain the cooled liquid over the pears and chill for at least 3 hours.
- Place the pears in four individual serving dishes and spoon a little of the red wine syrup over them. Serve with whipped cream or sour cream.