Thanks to Foods from Spain for this simple, good-looking, Pears in Red Wine recipe. I’ve pushed the boat out on the cost of the wine match but the other ingredients don’t cost much so it’s still a cheap night in as long as you don’t eat a main course, rent a DVD or spend any other money that night.
6 large pears | 570 ml red wine | 160g sugar | 2 cinnamon sticks | 1 vanilla pod
Peel the pears, leaving the stalks in place, and lay the luscious fruits in a large casserole dish. In a saucepan, bring the vino, sugar and cinnamon to a rolling boil, before throwing in the vanilla pod. Pour the whole lot over the pears, cover the dish, and bake slowly at 170° celsius for 3 hours, turning them halfway through. Next, transfer the pears to a serving bowl to cool, pour the liquid back into the saucepan, heat, and reduce by half (the spices can be discarded). When the sauce looks good and syrupy, remove from ther heat, allow to cool, and drizzle over the pears. Et voilà!
The Spanish foods people suggest pairing the pears (!) with a good Cream Sherry. If it were me I’d probably enjoy the dessert on its own and then maybe round off the meal with a glass of the viscous, raisiny Fernando de Castilla Antique PX Sherry. Wine writer Matthew Jukes really, really likes this wine:
“This weird, dark, mysterious, mahogany-hued wine is hypnotic, ever-so-slightly-hallucinatory and unbelievably intoxicating … This is like liquid Connolly leather, only more amazing on the nose and more luxurious to the touch. One sip and you are in its power – you have been warned.”