Pears poached in red wine and spices
You will need
2 bottles red wine
1kg caster sugar
3 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
Blanch the pears in boiling water for 30 seconds, then peel and remove the cores, but leave on the stalks.
Pour the wine and sugar into a large casserole or ovenproof dish and add the star anise, cloves and cinnamon sticks. Bring to the boil and give a good stir to ensure no sugar is stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Put the pears into the dish and put an upturned plate on top of the pears to keep them submerged.
Cover the dish with clingfilm, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer so you don't spoil the beautiful pears.
Simmer gently for about 10 minutes, or until the tip of a knife can penetrate the pear flesh without resistance.
Allow the fruit to cool in the syrup and serve from the dish at the table.