Pears Poached in Red Wine Syrup
Prepare ahead, one or two days before serving.
Bring to a boil for a few minutes to dissolve and blend:
One bottle of dry red wine
1 ½ cups of sugar
½ teaspoon of cardamom
4 tablespoons of lemon juice
Long strips of zest of one lemon
8 whole cloves and one long cinnamon stick, tied in a
Reduce the syrup to a simmer.
In the meantime, peel and core 8 ripe but firm pears, with stems.
Trim the bottoms so the pears can stand. Poach the pears in the
syrup, maintaining a simmer, for about 15-20 minutes. Turn pears a
few times so that all surfaces have simmered in the syrup, but are
still fairly firm. Cool, and transfer the pears to a bowl. Remove the
cheesecloth package, strain the syrup and pour over the pears in
the bowl. Refrigerate and turn the pears occasionally so that the
syrup evenly colors the pears.
The day of the dinner party, drain the syrup and reduce by half, by
gently boiling. Pour into a container and refrigerate.
Serve in bowls on vanilla ice cream, with pears upright. Pour a few
tablespoons of the reduced syrup over each pear. Makes 8 servings.