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Perfect Poached Pears

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20 mins

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup red wine
2 teaspoons orange zest
6 black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
2 pears, stemmed, halved and seeded
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large saucepan, combine water, sugar, wine, orange zest, peppercorns and cinnamon. Mix well and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Add pear halves to the saucepan and lower heat to a low simmer. Cover and cook until pears are tender, about 10 minutes.

Place pears in serving bowls with a slotted spoon. Strain liquid and place back in saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until reduced by half and syrupy, about 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature; add vanilla and pour over pears.

Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Serves 4