Pears Baked in Wine

Piemonte

SERVES 8

8 Large hard pears Pere
1 pint (570 ml) red wine Vino rosso
2 oz (50 gm) sugar Zucchero
2 whole cinnamon sticks Cannella
1 vanilla pod Vaniglia

You will  need a large flameproof casserole with a tight-fitting lid.

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark ½ ”  250°F (130°C).

  1. Using a potato peeler thinly pare off the outer skin of the pears, but leave the stalks intact. Then slice off a thin little disc from each pear base so they can sit upright.  Now lay the pears on their side in the casserole. Pour in the wine then sprinkle over the sugar and add the cinnamon sticks and vanilla pod.
  2. Now bring everything up to simmering point.  Cover the casserole and bake the pears on a low shelf in the oven for about 1 ½  hours. Remove the casserole from the oven, turn the pears over onto their other side, then replace the lid and return them to the oven for a further 1 1/2 hours.
  3. When the pears are cooked, transfer them to a serving bowl to cool, leaving the liquid in the casserole. Then remove the cinnamon sticks and vanilla pod. Place the casserole over direct heat and bring to the boil and boil until the syrup has thickened slightly. Then remove from the heat and when the syrup is cool, spoon it over the pears, basting them well.
  4. Now cover the pears with foil or cling film and place them in the fridge to chill thoroughly. Serve the pears sitting upright in individual dishes with the sauce spooned over this can be served with panna cotta.

NOTE: This recipe can also be made with Marsala which gives a different rich golden colour.

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