Poached Mulled Wine Pears
4 large beurre bosc pears
700ml red wine
1 cup caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
1 vanilla pod, split
1 orange, juice and peel reserved
1 inch piece lemon zest
cream, ice-cream or Greek yoghurt to serve
Bring the wine, sugar, cinnamon, star anise, vanilla, orange peel, orange juice and lemon zest to the boil in a saucepan that will fit the pears (you want them huddled together nice and snug).
Peel the pears and carefully arrange in the pot, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the pears for 20 minutes, turning twice, until the pears are tender and have turned the beautiful rich red of the wine.
Remove the pears from the poaching liquid so that they do not over cook. Return the liquid to the heat and reduce for around 10 minutes until it is think and syrupy. Serve the pears with cream and a good drizzle of the syrup.