We love to serve these pears with ice cream and sprinkle some granola, toasted nuts or toasted coconut flakes on top for crunch. This recipe will make a good amount of the syrup, which is delicious by itself over ice cream, drizzled on other desserts like an apple crisp, or even in cocktails as a mixing syrup!
Makes 2 pears (2-4 servings)
2 pears, peeled but left whole and with stem in
2 cups dry red wine
¼ cup honey or cane/coconut sugar, plus additional 2 tablespoons set aside
⅓ cup orange juice
2 strips orange zest, taken with a vegetable peeler
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine wine, honey, orange juice, orange zest, cinnamon stick, cloves, vanilla and a pinch of salt in a medium pot with a lid. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer and whisk to incorporate everything together. Add pears and simmer for 30-45 minutes with the lid ajar, turning pears every 10 minutes or so for even color. Remove from the heat and let pears cool in the liquid for a few hours (rotate them a few times if you can).
Remove pears from their poaching liquid, and return the liquid to medium heat and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to medium-low and, stirring often, let simmer to reduce the liquid by ⅔, so it thickens to a syrup (about 20 minutes). Be sure to keep an eye on it and stir to make sure it doesn't burn! The sugars in pears will vary, and this means the syrup may take more or less time than noted above. Once at desired consistency, set syrup aside to cool.
Slice pears in half lengthwise and remove the seeded core if you’d like with a paring knife. Serve atop vanilla ice cream and drizzle some of the syrup over. Add toasted nuts, toasted coconut flakes, or granola if desired. Enjoy!