Time: 30 minutes. These pears are so beautiful, it's hard to believe how easy they are to make. You can also try the recipe with white wine or apple juice instead of the red wine, but the pears won't have the same pastel color.
2 cups dry red wine
1 navel orange, quartered
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar, divided
1 cinnamon stick (4 in. long), broken in half
6 whole cloves
2 Bartlett pears, peeled, halved, and cored
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
How to Make It
In a 3- to 4-qt. saucepan, combine wine, orange pieces, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the cinnamon, cloves, and 2 cups water and bring to boil over high heat. Add pears, reduce heat to a simmer, and place on top of pears to submerge them in liquid. Cook, covered, until pears are tender when pierced, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together cheese, cream, and 2 tbsp. sugar until very thick. Serve pear halves in shallow bowls, each with about 1/4 cup of the poaching liquid and a dollop of the sweetened cheese. Save remaining liquid for another use, such as making hot spiced wine, if you like.