There are two schools of thought when it comes to cooking with wine. The one school says only use what you are prepared to drink, and the other school says only use what you would not drink. Raymond Blanc is of the opinion that it is a waste to cook with good wine. He does not imply that you should cook with bad wine, only that you do not cook with excellent wine. I was given 6 bottles of wine that are really not worth drinking. But, they are not so bad that they need to be thrown down the drain either. They are in fact perfect for cooking with. And, my heart does not break or my wallet cry when I used an entire bottle to poach some pears in. This is another dessert that needs very little attention. Once you have put the pears on to poach, you can leave them to slowly cook. Perfect for when you are entertaining and don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen.
Do you cook with good wine, or save it for the table?
For this easy dessert I used an apple corer to remove the core of the pears and then placed them into a large pan and covered them with red wine. I like a bit of spice with my dessert so I added a cinnamon quill and a few whole star anise to the poaching liquid. You could add vanilla or cloves or any other warm spice. I cut the pear in half only for the photograph, but you can serve them whole, with a little bit of thick cream or some ice cream if you prefer.