Ruby Poached Pears


4 Bartlett or other pears
4 cups ruby port
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 whole clove
1 vanilla bean, split
4 ounces Brie cheese, cut into
4 wedges
Garnish: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, nectarine slices, fresh mint leaves


Peel and core pears, leaving stems intact. Cut a thin slice from bottom of each pear, forming a base for pears to stand on.

Combine port and next five ingredients in a Dutch oven; add pears. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 12 minutes or until pears are tender. Remove pears from poaching liquid; set aside to cool.

Pour poaching liquid through a wire-mesh strainer into a container, discarding solids. Return liquid to Dutch oven; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until mixture is reduced to 1 cup. Serve pears with a wedge of Brie and sauce. Garnish, if desired.


4 servings

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