I tried peeling my pears “decoratively”, but I’m not that impressed with the way they turned out and wish I had just peeled them all the way. Won’t be doing that again
5 Bartlett pears (Bartletts hold their shape nicely), peeled, and cored from the bottom.
3 cups red wine (I used a combo of Rioja and some leftover Malbec)
1 vanilla bean, split in half and seeds scraped out (don’t throw away, we’re using those!)
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup sugar (can also use Sucanat if you prefer unprocessed)
In a pot just large enough to hold the pears upright, combine red wine, vanilla bean plus seeds, cinnamon stick and sugar, whisking to dissolve sugar. Make sure pears are submerged. (I didn’t quite have enough wine and my pot was a bit bigger than I wanted, so I laid the pears on their sides, and turned them several times while cooking to ensure even coloring.) Add pears and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it reaches the boil (watch carefully), immediately lower heat to simmer and poach pears, covered, about 30 minutes, or just until tender when pierced with a fork. Remove pears to a pan deep enough to hold the syrup, and boil down wine mixture until thick and syrupy. Pour over pears and serve.
There was a lot of leftover syrup after we had eaten the pears, so I boiled it down a bit further, and used it as a topping for my homemade chocolate frozen yogurt the next day. Yum!!