Spiced-Wine Poached Pears
- Using the smallest pot that the pears will fit in without coming to the rim of the pot, heat the wine and brown sugar with the 4 spices. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the pears and turn the heat to low. The pears must be completely covered. Add water if necessary. Cook on a very low flame. The liquid should be still and barely steamy, not simmering. Cook until a sharp knife can be easily inserted in the middle of the pears, about 60-90 minutes (check them after 45 if your heat got a little too high). Remove from the liquid and allow pears to cool at room temp.
- *Strain the poaching liquid through a fine strainer and return liquid to the pot. Cook liquid over medium/high heat until it reduces to a glaze (syrup consistency), about 20-40 minutes. Remove from heat immediately.
- **Halve the pears lengthwise. Remove the stems and cores using a paring knife and/or melon baller. Set the pears flat side down on a parchment lined sheet pan. Brush the pears with the glaze. Allow to rest in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. Brush again at least once, returning to the refrigerator to allow the glaze to be absorbed.
- Serve cold, warm, quartered, chopped up, with ice cream, on a bed of lettuce (though we don't recommend the latter two together)... whatever you fancy!
*For best results make the pears a day in advance. Cool the poaching liquid, return the pears to the liquid, cover, and store overnight to marinate. Then continue from Step 3.
** If you do the overnight marinating, you can skip the brushing step, and instead use the glaze like a sauce.