Once upon a time, in early fall, pears were on sale for 29 cents a pound. TWENTY-NINE CENTS, you heard me. What to do? Oh yes, at first, you buy pounds of pears. And it is pear time, all the time. Pears with cheese. Pears by themselves. And then the pears threaten to go bad! How can I save these pears, so that their goodness can be captured? Why, poach them in red wine.
It’s that easy.
- 6 very ripe Bartlett pears;
- one bottle of red wine; (I use the infamous Trader Joe’s 2 buck chuck)
- splash of vanilla;
- 1/4 cup of honey;
- 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon;
- 2 sprigs of thyme (somewhat optional – I’ve done fine without the thyme);
- 2 quart sauce pot.
- Pour the red wine into pot and begin low simmer.
- Peel the pears. Slice in half if you like, or leave whole.
- Add ground cinnamon, honey/sugar, thyme and vanilla to the pot.
- Melt everything together.
- Add pears.
- Allow pears to simmer until just tender – this means, start checking on it no later than like 10 minutes after you’ve added the pears. Depending upon ripeness, these pears might be ready quite soon.
- Let sauce continue to simmer until it is reduced to half of its original size. This is not a hard-and-fast rule – the idea is to intensify the flavors.
They are simply wonderful as-is. Even better with ice cream/frozen yogurt / nondairy frozen treat. Served that way, any international spy of superior caliber will start weeping like a child with joy. I saw it with my own eyes!