RJ and I went through a phase a few years ago where I was making these pears all the time. We used to slice them up and have them over vanilla ice cream for dessert, yes, it is as delicious as it sounds. When I was brainstorming toppings for my Deconstructed Chocolate Pavlova, pears came to mind as a great match with chocolate, and since red wine pairs with both, here we are. There are just as good as I remember.
When I first made them a week earlier for the sort-of-not-quite coconut sugar Pav, I used star anise because I didn’t have any cinnamon sticks on hand – meh. I wasn’t a huge fan, but that said, I’m not a huge fan of licorice – go figure. So when the Pav got re-made, so did the pears. This time it was back to basics – red wine, oj and cinnamon – simple as that. They were delicious with the Chocolate Pudding and Pavlova, and made for a brilliant topping over natural yogurt the next day for breakfast. They also look so pretty sliced since the outside edge is red or pink and the inside remains white – fancy-schmancy without even trying.
Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears
2-3 firm pears
1 c red wine – the cheap stuff is fine, keep the good bottle for drinking
1 c orange juice
1 cinnamon stick – or 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
Full Method in under 100:
Peel, halve and core pears. Wet and squeeze out a piece of baking [parchment] paper. Place pears in a small to medium saucepan with the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Smooth out the wet baking paper and push lightly over the surface of the liquid to keep pears submerged.
Simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender, gently flipping once during cooking. Remove pears, set aside and continue to simmer poaching liquid until syrupy and reduced to approx 1/4 cup.
Serve pears with syrup and what ever else strikes your fancy.
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