Cook1 hr 15 mins
This is a spiced version of the classic red wine poached pears. The remaining sauce is wonderful served over french toast the next morning, which my husband insists on every time we have these. Times listed do not include cooling time (I recommend at least 2 hours).
- Peel the pears and put in a medium bowl with the lemon juice and enough water to cover to prevent browning.
- In a large heavy saucepan, combine the water, sugar, anise, cloves, and cinnamon stick.
- Stir the sugar mixture over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Add the wine, port, ginger, and about 2/3 of the orange zest (the remainder will be used for garnish). Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer.
- Add the pears. Place the lid on the pot so that steam can escape and simmer until the pears are tender when pierced with a toothpick. This will take about 25 minutes. Make sure that you turn the pears so that all sides are evenly cooked.
- Remove the pears from the cooking liquid with a slotted spoon. Transfer them to a plate, cover with plastic wrap, cool in the refrigerator about 2 hours.
- Pour the cooking liquid through a sieve to remove the cloves, zest, and other particulate. Return to sauce pan. At this point you can refrigerate the liquid if you plan on serving it within a day or 2.
- To reduce the sauce, simmer until desired consistency is achieved (about 30 minutes to my taste). Taste as you are cooking it to adjust sweetness to your taste (I don't like things that sweet, so the sauce is tart when made according to the recipe).
- Serve each pear with a little sauce drizzled over and sprinkle with remaining zest. Mint & dark chocolate also make good garnishes.
This is simply DELICIOUS. The sweetness of the port balances the dryness of the red wine, and the spices subtly perfume the pears.