Holiday Pears in Red Wine Sauce
It is so true that we will indulge just a bit this holiday season between the parties and events to celebrate Christmas, New Years, Kwanza, Hannukah and Chinese New Year. Our senses will be assaulted with all kinds of temptations and I am as guilty as the rest. That is why I love pears baked in wine; the word that comes to mind is healthy. They look nice too sitting in a pool of wine sauce and are the perfect anecdote to more calorie laden desserts.
Stripe 4 ripe but not mushy pears with a vegetable peeler and cut off a smidge on the bottoms so they stand upright. Place the pears in a deep casserole dish and sprinkle the tops with coarse brown sugar. Pour enough dry red wine in the base of the casserole dish to come 3/4 of the way up the sides of the dish.
Bake in a 350F oven, basting them occasionally until the pears are knife tender. With a slotted spoon transfer the pears to a dish and pour the wine into a saucepan. Add 1 whole cinnamon stick and 1/3 cup sugar to the wine in the saucepan and bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer and cook until the wine is reduced by half. Place pears in a bowl and pour sauce over them. Turn and baste them occasionally in the sauce. Refrigerate until needed. Place each pear in a serving dish, pour some of the wine over them and sprinkle them with confectioners sugar.