Pears poached in port wine

Try something a little different this Christmas.

Ingredients


  • 6 firm, green pears (slightly under–ripe with stalks)
  • 120 g caster suger
  • 280 ml red wine
  • 140 ml port
  • 8 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • zest of 1 lemon or 1 orange

Method

  1. Peel the pears and take a thin slice off the bottom of each so that you can stand it upright.
  2. Place the pears Into a high-sided saucepan that will hold them tightly, it should not be deep enough for them to float.
  3. Put all the other ingredients into the saucepan and top up with water to reach just below the pear stalks.
  4. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  5. Poach for 30-45 minutes, or until the pears are tender. How long this takes will depend on their variety and ripeness
  6. Leave to cool slighty, then carefully remove the pears to a shallow dish.
  7. Bring the syrup to the boil again and reduce until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
  8. Allow the syrup to cool and pour it over the pears.
  9. Chill. Spooning the syrup over the pears from time to time.




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