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My pear tree is laden with fruit and I have been making pear tarts, pear clafoutis, pear flognarde, (a custardy cake from the Limousin), eating them with nuts and blue cheese and now I decided to try the classic French dessert of Pears in Red Wine. My pears are not very attractive looking, they are very small, not uniformly shaped, have odd colorings on the skin, generally, by looking at them, you might not think they were edible. To be honest that is exactly what I thought and I left them on the tree at first but then seeing the deer eagerly jump the fence to come and eat them for dinner, I decided to be brave and taste one. It was soft, juicy, delicious. So, just goes to prove that looks are not everything.
Since then, I have been harvesting a bunch every day but, fear not, I am leaving a few for the deer as well.

Serves 6

6 large pears or 12 small, peeled but leave stem on
3 cups dry red wine
350 g / 1¾ cups granulated sugar
½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves

Use a  saucepan large enough to hold all the pears upright
Place all your ingredients, except the pears, in the saucepanMix well and bring to the boil over medium heat
Simmer the syrup for 5 minutes
Add the pears, stem up, cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes
Occasionally turn the pears around to ensure even cooking and coloring
Leave to cool and place in the refrigerator overnight
Can be reheated or served at room temperature
Serve with crème fraîche or heavy cream