Poached Pears in Mulled Vino
I love syrah for poaching pears—it’s dry and not too sweet. The spices, citrus zest, and sugar really make this dessert a fantastic, indulgent treat. When I can find fresh Meyer lemons, I like to grate some zest over the ice cream.
1 bottle Syrah wine (preferably Californian)
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
1 whole star anise
5 whole cloves
1 piece lemon zest, 4 inches long and 1/4-inch wide
1 piece orange zest, 4 inches long and 1/4-inch wide
4 Bosc pears, peeled, stem on
1 pint lemon sorbet or light vanilla ice cream
1. Combine wine and water in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, star anise, cloves, and citrus zests, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes.
2. Add pears, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook gently about 30 minutes until pears are stained a deep, dark purple color, turning pears once or twice while they poach. Turn off heat, uncover pan, and let pears cool.
3. Remove pears from saucepan and set aside. Strain liquid through a sieve and discard spices. Pour liquid back into pan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until syrupy and reduced by half, 45 to 50 minutes. Taste and add more sugar if needed. Cool syrup to room temperature.
4. Place pears on a work surface. Halve lengthwise and core using a melon baller. Place 1 pear half in a bowl, top with 1 scoop sorbet or ice cream, and drizzle with syrah syrup.
Red Red Wine