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