Poached Pears in Red Wine

A beautiful dessert that's just right for the season. Be sure to prepare at least 3 hours ahead so pears can absorb the flavors of the sauce.


2 cups dry red wine
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon aniseed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 (2x1-inch) strips fresh lemon zest, removed with vegetable peeler
4 Bosc pears, firm but ripe

vanilla ice cream or whipped cream


Bring first six ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan. Remove from heat.

Peel, halve and core pears. Place in saucepan with wine sauce. Return to heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer over low. Turn pears over after 10 minutes. Simmer another 10-15 minutes or until pears are just fork tender.

Remove pears from sauce. Strain sauce into a bowl. Discard solids. Return sauce to pan and boil for about 10 minutes until sauce is reduced to about 1 cup. Pour over pears. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

To serve, starting 1/2-inch from the top of the pear, cut each half into 4-5 slices leaving the top intact. Then fan pear halves out on a plate. Spoon some sauce over pears and garnish with ice cream or whipped cream.

Serves: 4

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