Saturday mornings in late October and November means a trip to Nat Bailey Farmer’s Market in search of seasonal fruits and vegetables. The colours are awesome! With the backdrop of the Coast Mountains on occasion receiving a snowfall, it’s simply gorgeous! I have always poached pears in white wine, but decided to change things up by poaching them in red wine. The results…delicious on their own or with ice-cream or a dollop of mascarpone or clotted cream! I used Red Sensation pears but Bosc would work equally well and I used a Sangiovese red wine. Use a decent drinkable red for the best results. The recipe can easily be divided in half for 4 servings…but the cold leftover pears are fantastic!
8 pears, Bosc are a good choice
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup sugar
½ cup honey
1 ½ cups red wine
1 vanilla bean or ½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 whole cloves
3 – 4 black peppercorns
Peel the pears, cut in half lengthwise, remove the cores (I recommend using a melon baller, works great), and trim any bits at the blossom end. You can keep the stems on if you like. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise & scrape out the seeds & place the pod & seeds into the pot along with the lemon juice, sugar, honey, red wine, cloves & peppercorns.
Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat; add the pears, lower the heat to simmer, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove lid, carefully turn the pears over, replace the lid, continue to simmer for approximately 5 more minutes or until the pears are just tender. Remove the pears to a shallow glass dish; bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to medium & simmer until slightly syrupy. Pour the mixture over the pears & cool. When room temperature, cover & chill for a minimum of 4 hours or until the next day. Serve 2 pear halves per person with some of the red wine syrup spooned over top.