4 Bosc pears, firm but ripe
2 C dry red wine
1/3 C sugar
2-3 one inch wide strips of orange peel
Juice from one orange
1 cinnamon stick
6 black peppercorns
3 star anise
4 whole cloves
1 – 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into several slivers
Slice off about 1/4 inch of the base of each pear. Leave stem attached. Using a peeler, remove the skin from the pear.
In a stainless steel sauce pan, add remaining ingredients. Place pears into pan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. While simmering, carefully roll the pears around in the poaching liquid for even flavoring. A paring knife easily inserted into the thickest part of the pear indicates readiness. Remove pears to a plate for cooling. Several hours in the fridge or overnight is fine. Strain poaching liquid and store in the fridge too.
For service, place poaching liquid in a sauce pan and reduce over medium high heat until a “syrupy” consistency is achieved. Gently warm the pears in 200 degree oven for 15 minutes or so. Spoon reduced sauce over pears. Serve with a side of Greek yogurt flavored with orange zest and honey.
Serve these pears with “Ultimate Ginger Cookie.” Recipe available on Ina Garten’s website. They are delicious. Careful not to overcook. Here’s a pic to whet your appetite!