Fresh pears are nice but sometimes, pears poached in a citrus and vanilla-spiked wine sauce are even nicer.
- 14 fl oz red wine, fruity-variety
- 1/2 cup(s) water
- 1/3 cup(s) honey, preferably mild
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp peppercorn, use 6 whole peppercorns
- 4 tsp orange zest, divided, or to taste
- 6 medium pear(s), peeled, cored and halved*
In a large heavy pot, combine wine, water, honey, vanilla, peppercorns and 2 teaspoons zest; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until honey is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
Place pear halves in syrup; cover pot and poach over a low heat, turning pear halves occasionally. After about 10 minutes, test for doneness with a fork: pears should be just tender. Poach longer, if needed. The timing will vary depending on variety and ripeness of pears.
Let pears cool in wine sauce; turn them once or twice while cooling to give them a nice even color. Sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons zest before serving. Yields 2 pear halves per serving.
- *You can use any kind of pears (or even apples) in this recipe.For a nice touch, reduce the poaching liquid by half to form a thicker syrup that you can spoon over the pears before serving.It’s easy to change the flavor, too, by adding a cinnamon stick and two whole cloves instead of the vanilla and peppercorns.The poached pears can be refrigerated, in a covered glass dish, for several days. Sprinkle with the zest just before serving.