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    Pears in Red Wine with Walnuts

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    Pears in Red Wine with Walnuts

    Choose round varieties of pears - Williams rather than Conference. The fruit should be just ripe but not yet soft. If the pears are large, you'll only need one each; if small, allow 2 per person. Use a drinkable wine - a rioja, perhaps, since the spicing is Spanish.

    Serves: 4


    • 4 firm, ripe pears
    • 1 75cl bottle light red wine
    • 100g shelled walnuts, skinned if fresh
    • 175g sugar
    • A short stick of cinnamon
    • 6 peppercorns
    • 1 bay leaf
    • Juice and pared zest of 1 lemon


    1. Peel the pears, leaving the stalks in place, and arrange stalk-side up in a heavy saucepan just large enough to fit them comfortably. Pour in the wine and the remaining ingredients (reserve the lemon zest). Bring to the boil, turn down the heat, cover loosely and leave to poach very gently for 30-40 minutes or until perfectly tender.
    2. Remove the fruit with a draining spoon and reserve. Turn up the heat and boil fiercely to reduce by half and make a shiny syrup.
    3. Strain the syrup over the pears. Finish with a little tangle of lemon zest and the skinned walnuts - very pretty against the deep burgundy of the poached pears. Heaven with clotted cream.

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