FWB Red Wine: Healthy heart and free radical fighter (always in moderation)
I love Shiraz for poaching pears—it’s dry and not too sweet. The spices, citrus zest and sugar really make this a fantastic treat—it’s like the pears are taking a hot, yummy vino bath! When I can find Meyer lemons in the wintertime, I like to grate some zest over the ice cream or sorbet. Serve the pears whole, or halve them to serve more guests! Enjoy, friends! xxx
1 bottle Syrah wine (preferably Californian) 2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
1 whole star anise
5 whole cloves
One 4-inch long and 1/4-inch wide strip lemon zest Four 4-inch long and 1/4-inch wide strips orange zest 4 Bosc pears, peeled, stem on
1 pint lemon sorbet or light vanilla ice cream (optional)
1. Combine the wine with 2 cups of water in a large saucepan to a simmer. Add the sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, star anise, cloves, and citrus zests and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes.
2. Add the pears, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook gently until the pears are stained a deep, dark purple color, about 30 minutes, turning the pears once or twice while they poach. Turn off the heat, uncover the pan, and let the pears cool.
3. Remove the pears from the saucepan and set aside. Strain the liquid through a sieve and discard the spices. Pour the liquid back into the pan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until it the liquid is syrupy and reduced by half, 45 to 50 minutes. Taste and add more sugar if needed. Cool the syrup to room temperature.
4. Place the pears on your work surface. Halve them lengthwise and core them using a melon baller. Place a pear half in a bowl, top with a scoop of ice cream or sorbet, drizzle with the Shiraz syrup and serve with lemon sorbet or light ice cream.
Whenever I have more than a half bottle of leftover red wine, I turn it into warm mulled wine. Make the Syrah poaching liquid as described above. and heat to a simmer. Taste for sweetness and add more sugar if needed. Serve in mugs.