Vanilla and red wine poached pears
SERVES 6 PREP AND COOK TIME 40 MINUTES (+ COOLING AND REFRIGERATION TIME)
6 medium (1.4kg) firm pears 2 cups (500ml) dry red wine 1½ cups (375ml) water
2 x 5cm pieces orange rind ½ cup (125ml) orange juice 1 cup (220g) caster sugar 1 vanilla bean
1 cinnamon stick
1 Peel the pears, leaving the stems intact. 2 Combine wine, the water, rind, juice and sugar in a large saucepan. Halve the vanilla bean lengthways, scrape the seeds into the pan; add vanilla bean and cinnamon stick. 3 Lay pears down in the pan to cover in wine mixture. Cover surface with a round of baking paper and a heatproof small plate to keep pears submerged. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, over medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until the pears are tender. Transfer pears to a large deep bowl. Cover to keep warm.
4 Meanwhile, simmer the remaining liquid in the pan over medium heat for 10 minutes or until syrupy.
5 Serve warm or cooled pears drizzled with reduced syrup.
Not suitable to freeze or microwave.