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August - Scented Pears Poached in Red Wine

Pears turn a deep burgundy colour when they are poached gently in spiced red wine. American Bosc and British Conference are good dessert pears for cooking.

Serve with creme fraiche if desired.

 

INGREDIENTS

serves 4

  • 4 firm dessert pears
  • 1/2 pint (285ml) red wine
  • 1/2 glass Cassis (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4oz (115g) caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 6 cloves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • A twist of freshly ground black pepper
  • Mint sprigs for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons creme fraiche (optional)

Peel the pears and leave them whole with their stalks on. Pour the red wine and optional Cassis into a large pan and add the lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar, ginger, honey, cloves, bay leaves and black pepper. Heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

Add the pears, spoon the micture over them, and cover the pan. Reduce to a low heat and, keeping the liquid just below boiling point, poach gently for 1 hour - turning occasionaly - until pears are translucent and soft, but not mushy.

Remove the pears from the liquid and arrange on a serving dish. Cover and place in the refrigerator. Strain the liquid through a sieve and discard the cloves, bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Pour over the pears and chill overnight.

Garnish with mint sprigs and serve chilled with a little creme fraiche if desired.

 

 

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