Now that I’ve worked out this recipe, my goal is to have wine-poached pears in my fridge all winter long so that I can serve them and cook with them regularly, the way I did with this financier recipe.
6 firm pears
1 bottle (750 ml.) red wine
1 cup (225 g.) sugar
½ vanilla bean
½ cinnamon stick
1 star anise
CHOOSE firm pears – even slightly underripe work well.
PEEL the pears and scoop out the cores from the bottom of the pears using a melon baller.
COMBINE all the remaining ingredients in a large saucepan. Add the pears, making sure they are completely covered with liquid.
CUT a round of parchment the size of the saucepan and cut a small hole in the center of the round. Place the parchment over the pears—this keeps them submerged in the poaching liquid.
BRING the liquid in the pan just to a simmer. Poach the pears at a low simmer 10 to 15 minutes—this time will depend on the size, type, and ripeness of the pears you’re using—or until the tip of a knife slides easily into the flesh. Remove from the heat, and cool the pears in the poaching liquid.
STORE the pears up to one week in the fridge. Serve with the poaching liquid and a little custard or crème fraiche, if desired.