Spiced Red Wine-Poached Pears

  • 475ml dry red wine, such as cabernet or merlot
  • 50g sugar, plus 1 tbsp
  • 1 orange, juiced (about 120ml)
  • 1 strip orange zest
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 4 firm, ripe pears
In a four-litre saucepan, combine wine, sugar, orange juice, zest, cinnamon stick and cloves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for five minutes.

While liquid is simmering, peel pears, leaving stem intact and being careful not to blemish the flesh of the pears. Slice 1-cm off the bottom of the pears to create a flat bottom. Gently place pears in poaching liquid, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, turning every five minutes to ensure even color, until pears are cooked but still firm.

Remove saucepan from flame, uncover and cool with pears upright in pan. Once cool, cover and chill in refrigerator at least three hours or up to 24 hours, turning occasionally, if desired. Gently remove pears from liquid and allow to come to room temperature.

Meanwhile, reduce liquid by about half over a medium-high flame for 15 minutes, until liquid is thicker and slightly syrupy. Remove from flame and let liquid come to room temperature. Drizzle each pear with two tablespoons syrup and serve.

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