Riesling Poached Pears
4 firm pears, peeled and bottoms trimmed flat
1 bottle fruity riesling wine
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
1 star anise
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Peel the pears making sure you keep the stem intact. Trim the bottoms of the pears to help keep them flat and stand up straight.
Once simmering, add the pears and poach, uncovered, for about 25 minutes, until tender. Note the cooking time may vary slightly depending on the size pears you use. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pears from the poaching liquid, place in a shallow bowl and set aside.
Return the poaching liquid to a simmer and reduce by 2/3rds, which should take about 20 minutes.
The syrup is ready when it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the cinnamon stick the poaching liquid and and strain through a fine strainer.
Serve the pears chilled or warm, whole or slice on half and arrange the pears on individual serving plates with a generous spoonful of the poaching syrup.