- One bottle white apple spice wine, or any other sweet white wine
- 1/3 cup superfine sugar
- 3 Tbsp. honey
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 2-inch piece orange rind
- 1 clove
- 1 all-spice
- anise star (optional)
- 5-6 firm ripe pears
- mint and whipped cream, to serve (optional)
Place the wine, sugar, honey, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, seeds from vanilla bean, orange rind, clove and all-spice in a saucepan just large enough to hold the pears standing upright. Heat gently, stirring occasionally until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Meanwhile, peel the pears, leaving the stem intact. Take a thin slice off the base of each pear so it will stand square and upright in the pan.
Place the pears in the wine mixture, then simmer, uncovered, for 25-35 minutes, depending on size and ripeness, until the pears are just tender; be careful not to over-cook.
Carefully transfer the pears to a bowl, using a slotted spoon. Continue to boil the poaching liquid until reduced by about half. Let cool, then strain the cooled liquid over the pears and chill for at least 3 hours.
Place the pears in individual serving dishes and spoon a little of the gold wine syrup over them. Serve with whipped creme (optional).