Look, what can I say – this is the weird life of a woman: one moment I am ranting about the patriarchy and the next I am giving you a recipe for poached pears.
But what a recipe! I love poached pears so much but have never managed to re-create them at home until now.
This is just wonderful, I broke out of my cooking rut to do this for Giles’s birthday the other day, and Giles, who doesn’t like sweet things, raved about them.
4 of those fat pears that look like the Venus of Willendorf (do more than you need because they keep well)
1 bottle of really cheap wine – I used Shiraz
200g caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise fruit (optional)
The trick to a successful poached pear is the kind of pan you poach it in; in the past I have used wide, flat pans and the pears sort of roll about and don’t poach properly. You need the closest thing you have to a stock pot with high sides so that when you glug the wine in, it creates a deep pool of liquid for the pears to really sink into
1 Take your deep narrow pan and pour in the red wine, the sugar, the cinnamon and the star anise and place it on a medium heat and warm until you reckon the sugar has dissolved.
2 Peel the pears and drop them in. The recipe said 20-30 mins but I left mine simmering away for probably 45 mins to an hour. The pears will be ready when a toothpick goes in easily.
3 Take the pears out and set aside. Fish out the cinnamon stick and star anise and now boil that sucker until the sauce is reduced by about two thirds and is thick and glossy.
Serve with cream or vanilla ice cream or just on its own with the sauce spooned over. SO DELICIOUS.
***nb I did not take the picture of those pears