These poached pears aren’t just for dessert; you can also slice them for a sweet and spicy addition to salads or sandwiches. Placing a parchment paper “lid” over the fruit helps keep it submerged in the poaching liquid.
1. Cut circle of parchment paper the size of pot to be used. Cut small hole in center to allow steam to escape.
2. Use vegetable peeler to cut 2 3/4-inch-wide strips of orange peel. Halve orange, and squeeze out 1/2 cup juice. Combine orange peel and juice, wine, sugar, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup water in large pot. Bring to a boil over heat, and cook 2 minutes to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat.
3. Cut thin slab off bottom of each pear and stand upright. Working from bottom of pear, use small melon baller to scoop out seeds and core. Peel pears, leaving stems intact.
4. Return wine mixture to a boil over high heat. Set pears in wine mixture. If liquid does not cover completely, top off with up to 1 cup water. Bring to gentle simmer, and cover pot with parchment circle. (Small bubbles should break surface of water around edges, not bubble up from bottom of pot.) Reduce heat to maintain temperature, and poach pears 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat; cool in liquid. Transfer pears and liquid to bowl; chill in refrigerator.
5. Place pears in dessert bowls. Strain 3 cups syrup into wide saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil 5 to 7 minutes, or until syrup is reduced to about 1 cup. Pour hot syrup over pears.