Poached Spiced Pears


6 small, firm-but-ripe Anjou pears, peeled
3 Cups sweet white or red wine (such as Moscato) from 1-liter bottle
1/4 Cup Mulling Spice Blend
2 Cups pear nectar (or juice)
1 Cinnamon Stick, broken in half
1 Vanilla Bean, split lengthwise
1/2 Cup sugar

1-1/2 tsp Arrowroot

1 Cup Balsamic Vinegar (fruit flavors like Cinnamon Pear Balsamic or Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar work best) reduced by 1/4-1/2 into a syrup


Using melon baller, remove core from bottom end of pears.

Put mulling spices into a bit of cheesecloth or a muslin bag. Combine wine, mulling spices (in bag), pear nectar, sugar, and cinnamon stick in large pot. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add outer pod. Bring to simmer.

Add pears to bubbling spice-wine-juice mixture (liquid should cover pears halfway). Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until pears are tender, about 10 minutes, turning pears halfway through.

Transfer pears and cooking liquid to large bowl. Cool completely.

Drain poaching liquid back into the pot. Mix 2 tablespoons of the poaching liquid with arrowroot in small bowl; return to pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, and boil until sauce thickens and is reduced to 2 cups, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes.

Cool sauce to room temperature.

Make-ahead: (Pears and sauce can be prepared up to 1 day before. Cover separately and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

Garnish with reduced balsamic, ice cream, whipped cream, and mint!