I love poached pears in port wine. You can use your favorite full-bodied red wine if you are not a port fan. It’s pretty easy to make, and you can decorate each plate beautifully by pairing with ice cream, whipping cream, and so much more. See below for other ideas.
1 bottle of your favorite port
4 to 5 cups sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean
Orange zest of 1 medium orange
8 ripe Bartlett pears
In a large saucepan, heat the first 6 ingredients. Simmer for 30-35 minutes and stir occasionally. Peel the pears and place into another pan that can be used on the stove with sides that has a lid. Pour the simmering liquid port sauce over pears. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes or until the pears are tender when pierced with a knife. Remove from the liquid and set aside to cool. Strain the liquid and cool before serving.
What to Serve with Pears:
- Your favorite vanilla bean ice cream (if you are really ambitious homemade is always better)
- Mascapone or riccotta filling (with sugar, orange peel and nutmeg)
- Homemade whipped cream
- Top with chocolate sauce or caramel sauce
- Garnish with mint leaves
- Serve over puff pastry, pound cake, shortbread cookie or another one of your favorite cookies that might pair well