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Pears in Red Wine-Vanilla Syrup

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I've only recently come to appreciate pears. The local ones that have such a short season are so wonderful, and a far cry in taste and texture from the mealy, flavorless ones the groceries offer year round. I wanted to preserve some of that lovelyness.

Pears in Red Wine-Vanilla Syrup

In a large pot, pour a bottle of fruity, lighter-bodied red wine. Something like a Beaujolais, Pinot Noir, Cotes Du Rhone, lighter Shiraz. Bring to a simmer, and add a cup of sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar, and add a cup of water. Using a sharp knife, slit open a vanilla bean, and scrape the seeds out and into the pot. Cut the bean into 2-inch lengths, and add. Taste for sweetness, add more sugar if you wish. Let the mixture simmer gently for a while so it will become syrupy.

If you're canning the pears, prepare your jars and lids.

Meanwhile, peel your pears. Figure on 8-10 pears, more if you're canning them. Slice into quarters, cutting away from the core. Put the slices into a bowl of water that has had a spoonful of lemon juice added, to help preserve the pear's color.

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When all the pears are peeled, drain them and then add the slices to the syrup. Gently poach. If you're not canning them, poach until just tender, probably 5-10 minutes depending on ripeness. Then remove from heat, and cool in the syrup.

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If you're canning, just bring to the boil, and then pack into jars, top off with syrup leaving 1/23 inch headspace, get rid of air bubbles, cap and process for 20 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Serve the pears on their own, or even better, with vanilla ice cream, or over a simple cake. Or to be really decadent, with a drizzle of caramel sauce.

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Comments (1)

This sounds divine!

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