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Red Wine & Cranberry Poached Pears

While being poached, the pear absorbs the sweetness and spice from the sugar, wine, cinnamon and peppercorn. It makes an easy, yet elegant, dessert that's perfect for a special night. —Kiersten Atkinson, Birmingham, Alabama
  • Total Time
    Prep: 10 min. Cook: 25 min. + standing
  • Makes
    4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 lemon zest strip (about 2 inches wide)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 4 medium Bosc pears (about 6 ounces each)
  • Creme fraiche or sour cream, optional

Directions

  • In a large saucepan, bring the first 6 ingredients to a boil; add cranberries. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, core pears from bottom, leaving stems intact. Peel pears. Add to pan, in a single layer on their sides. Simmer, uncovered, until pears are almost tender, about 10 minutes longer, turning occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes.
  • Drain pears; reserving poaching liquid and cranberries. Remove peppercorns. Place pears on dessert plates; drizzle with reserved poaching liquid. Top with cranberries and crème fraiche, if desired.

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