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Poached Seckel Pears

Yield Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle (750 ml.) Beaujolais Nouveau
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (3 in.)
  • 1 vanilla bean (4 in.)
  • 8 firm-ripe Seckel pears (1 to 2 oz. each)

How to Make It

  1. In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan over medium heat, combine Beaujolais Nouveau, sugar, star anise, cloves, and cinnamon sticks.

  2. Split vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape seeds into wine mixture; add pod. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, peel pears (leave stems on) and add to pan; reduce heat to low, cover, and cook untl pears are tender when pierced, 10 to 15 minutes. Remve from heat and let stand, covered, for 1 hour.

  4. With a slotted spoon, transfer pears to small bowls and return pan with poaching liquid to medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1 cup, about 30 minutes. Drizzle liquid over pears; garnish with whole spices.