Pears poached in red wine, honey and spices
- 4 firm but ripe pears, stems attached (Bosc pears work especially well)
- 1/2 bottle red wine – drinkable, but not necessarily expensive
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Lemon peel and juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 cloves
- Marscapone or cream cheese, optional
Peel pears, leaving stems attached. Trim bottoms so they will stand upright. Place in a deep nonreactive saucepan just big enough to hold them.
Dissolve sugar and honey in wine and pour over pears. If pears are not completely covered, add water to cover. Add lemon peel and juice (do NOT add intact lemon half, as the white pith is bitter) and spices and bring to a boil on top of stove. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until pears are cooked through but not mushy – between 20-30 minutes, depending on their size.
Remove pears from liquid and keep warm. Strain poaching liquid and reduce until it’s syrupy. Serve the pears warm, with some of the sauce and a dollop of marscapone or cream cheese, if desired.
Refrigerate leftover syrup. It’s delicious drizzled over ice cream or yoghurt.