Pears poached in red wine with vanilla
An elegant dessert, poached pears are simple to make. The sweetness of the fruit works so well with the wine syrup.
6 large pears750ml bottle of full-bodied red wine2 teaspoons vanilla extract1 vanilla pod, plus extra for decoration (optional)250g caster sugar1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
Peel the pears, leaving the stalks intact, and trim the base. Arrange upright in a small to medium saucepan (they should fit snugly in a single layer).
Pour over the wine and add the vanilla extract, vanilla pod (if using), sugar and cinnamon. Bring to the boil over a medium heat.
Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, moving the pears around every 10 minutes or so.
Using a slotted spoon, lift out the pears and transfer to a large plate. Cover with foil and set aside.
Return the wine to a medium heat and boil for 30 minutes (uncovered) until reduced to a syrup consistency, stirring occasionally. Leave to cool. Remove the vanilla pod and cinnamon stick.
To serve, place a pear on a plate and drizzle over the wine syrup. Decorate with a vanilla pod if you like.