Here’s one of my favourite recipes for red wine syrup and spice poached pears with sundried cranberry compote, candied watermelon rind and pine nuts. This recipe uses the red wine syrup from last week.
Red Wine Syrup
Finely Ground Clove
Pears (I used Bartletts)
When choosing a pear to bake, it is usually best to go with a Anjou or Bosc which will hold their shape when baking. However, this time I used Bartlett pears because they are more juicy and flavourful. If you want your pears to hold their shape and have a firmer texture when baking, avoid Bartletts. Although, if you want lots of flavour, and a soft, fluffy texture then they are great!
After rinsing, with the stems in, cut the pears in half lengthwise. Remove the core using a corer; just deep enough to remove the seeds and tough fibres of the centre. Cut a small slice off of the round side of the bottom of the pear so that it sits flat. Place skin-side down on this flat surface in a sprayed baking dish. The baking dish should be oven-safe and able to be used on the stove-top. Pre-heat oven to 400°.
Allow some of the red wine syrup to surround the pears in the pan. Fill the pan 1cm-2cm with water. Cover and place into a pre-heated 400° oven. Bake for 10 minutes and then uncover to brown the tops. Baste with liquid. Add water if the pan starts to dry, just enough to keep the pears in liquid without diluting the syrup. The pears are done after 15-20 minutes total, when they are *just* soft and nicely caramelized.
Mmm, caramelized and soft.
Now, remove pears from the pan. The syrup should have thickened in the bottom of the pan from reducing and from the pear sugars. Add 1/4-1/2 cup of water, a bit more reserved red wine syrup and place the pan on the stove on high heat. Bring to a simmer, then reduce this mixture by a quarter.
Place pears in a serving dish or bowl, in a bath of warm syrup.
These can be stuffed with many things – in this case I used cranberry compote tossed with pine nuts and topped it off with candied watermelon rind. Serve and enjoy!