Red Wine Poached Pears
They're simple, elegant, sweet & savory AND DELICIOUS!
6 ripe Bosc Pears (not Bartlett pears – they will not hold up to the cooking and will go mushy)
2 cups red wine
½ cup sugar
1 large piece of orange zest
1 cinnamon stick
8-10 whole cloves
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ cup berries – ex: dried cranberries
Combine all ingredients EXCEPT the pears in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
As you are waiting for the wine to simmer and dissolve the sugar, peel and core the pears attempting to leave the stem on (doing it too soon will cause them to discolour).
Once the wine and spices are simmering, carefully plunge the pears into the liquid, submerging them as much as possible.
Continue to simmer for 20 – 25 minutes rotating them often to have all the pear rotated around.
After they are cooked, carefully remove the pears from the pan.
Strain the solids from red wine returning the red wine to the pan.
Continue to softly simmer for ~15 – 20 minutes until the red wine sauce coats the back of a spoon (or thicker if you prefer)
-place a pear in the middle of a plate (cold, room temp or warmed)
-brush or pour the thickened sauce over the pears (cold, room temp or warmed)
-accompany with ice cream, or whipped cream
How to ramp it up?
-stuff into the hollow of the pear, any of the following: sweetened mascarpone cheese; blue cheese; chocolate mousse;
-add a shot of Brandy, or bourbon, or scotch, or Port to the red wine while it is simmering with the pears
-garnish with some mint, or rosemary springs, or cracked black pepper