These pears are easy to prepare- rich and spicy with a flavor similar to mulled wine.
Recipe by Amber Share
1 cup sugar
1 stick cinnamon
1 star anise pod
1 vanilla bean
1 long piece lemon zest
1/2 bottle dry, fruity red wine
1/2 cup crème fraîche (or pure cream 45% milkfat)
When choosing your pears make sure they will sit up on their own.
Pre-heat oven to 325°F (160°C).
Slice vanilla bean in half lenghtwise and run the back of a knife down the inside to remove the seeds. In a sauce pan combine everything but the pears. Heat until sugar melts. Place the pears in a baking dish near the stove making sure they aren't touching each other— a cake pan works nicely. Pour hot wine mixture into pan and bake for about one hour or until tender. Do not overcook or they will fall apart when you try to move them.
Gently lift pears out of baking dish into bowls or plates. Pour the liquid back into the saucepan and reduce slightly. Remove spices (strain if necessary) and stir in thick cream. Place sauce around pears and serve with knife, fork and spoon.
Easily doubles and can be served room temperature or warm .