Poached pears are just lovely. These red wine poached pears have a great flavour and can be used on their own or as decoration – see picture below.
2 cups dry red wine
1/3 cup caster sugar
2 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean, split
4 pears, peeled, cored if desired
If you want to use the pears as the main feature, leave the core and stem. If you are only wanting the pear flesh, core and remove the stem if easier.
Combine everything except the pears in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves.
Add the pears to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, for 45 minutes or until pears are tender. Turn the pears occasionally to ensure an even colour.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer pears to a heatproof bowl.
You can use the syrup if you are serving the pears on their own. Increase heat to high and bring the syrup to the boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until syrup thickens slightly. Pour over the pears and serve hot with double cream or set aside in the fridge to serve cool later.