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Red wine poached pears

Poached pears

Red wine poached pears
Recipe and styling Katelyn Williams Photos Angie Lázaro

Winter's treasure of plump ripe pears get an even rosier blush with a good glug of red wine and a sprinkle of spices.

(serves 4)

2 cups red wine (see TIPS & IDEAS, below)
⅓ cup castor sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean, split
4 ripe pears, peeled

Poached pears tips and ideas

Combine the liquid, sugar and spices in a saucepan and stir until sugar is dissolved.

Add the pears and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover with a cartouche (see TIPS & IDEAS, below). Poach gently until pears are tender, for about 1 hour.

Remove the pears. Bring the syrup to a boil and reduce until slightly thickened. Pour over the pears and allow to cool before refrigerating.

Tips and ideas

* Experiment using different liquids such as white or sparkling wine, fruit juice, port or sweet wine, teas such as green, jasmine, earl grey, etc.
* Vary the spices by adding cloves, cardamom, star anise, lemon grass or saffron.
* Core the pears from the underside and pipe in flavoured mascarpone or mousse before serving.
* Add poached pears to baked puddings, layer into trifles, or serve with French toast or crumpets drizzled with honey for breakfast.

* How to fold a cartouche:
How to fold a cartouche
This is a round of greaseproof paper that fits snuggly over the surface of food during poaching. It prevents the liquid from evaporating too quickly and keeps the food submerged.

1. Cut a large square of grease-proof paper and fold it in half, then into quarters. Fold in half again to form a dart shape.

2. With the pointed end at the centre of the saucepan, mark where the edge of the pot is and cut just beyond this mark so it forms a disc.

3. Cut the tip of the dart off to form a 1-2 cm hole. Open it up and place over the surface of the poaching liquid.

Try these two delicious recipes using your poached pears:
Baked goat’s cheese and roasted pear salad:
Baked goat’s cheese and roasted pear salad
Looking for a delicious light starter for your next dinner party? Try our baked goat’s cheese and roasted pear salad!
Click for full recipe

Ginger, custard and red wine pear tarts:

Ginger, custard and red wine pear tarts
Looking for a delicious winter dessert to finish off the perfect dinner party? Try our ginger, custard and red wine pear tarts!
Click for full recipe

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