MULLED POACHED PEARS
3 cups dry red wine
1½ cups water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
6 Bartlett or Anjou pears
2 each slices ginger root and strips of lemon rind
2 cinnamon sticks, halved
½ tsp each peppercorns and whole cloves
Spice Bag: In cheesecloth square, tie together ginger, lemon rind, cinnamon, peppercorns and cloves.
In large deep saucepan, bring wine, water, sugar, lemon juice and spice bag to boil over medium heat. heat to low; simmer for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel pears, leaving stems intact. Using melon baller and working from bottom, remove core. Add pears to wine mixture. Cover with parchment-paper circle and lid; simmer, basting occasionally,until tender but still firm, 15 to 25 minutes. Remove pears to shallow dish. Discard spice bag.
Boil remaining liquid over medium-high heat until about ¾ cup, 25 minutes. Pour over pears. Refrigerate until chilled 4 hours. (Make-ahead Refrigerate for up to 8 hours). Makes 6 servings.
[Canadian Living October 2008]