In the Kitchen… Poached Pears

In the Kitchen… Poached Pears

Pears are in season right now and this is such a delicious way to serve them

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour + 5-10 minutes for the sauce
Serves 4

1 750ml bottle of soft, fruity red wine
125g granulated sugar
2 cloves
1 stick of cinnamon
Zest of half a lemon
1 vanilla pod, split (optional)
4 hard pears
Creme de cassis

– Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Pour the wine into a saucepan with the sugar, spices and lemon zest and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

– Meanwhile, peel the pears. Leave the stalk intact but cut out the core at the base. Use a non-metallic ovenproof dish just wide enough to hold the pears in a single layer and lay them in there. Don’t use a large dish because when you pour the spiced wine over the top – the fruit should just be submerged. Cover the dish and bake for about an hour, checking after 45 minutes. When the fruit is tender, but still holds its shape, lift it out of the liquid and set aside.

– Then pour the liquid back into the saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce by about half until it becomes thick and syrupy, then taste and pour in the creme de cassis to taste. Pour the sauce back onto the pears and serve warm or cool, with ice cream, cream, or custard.

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