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Recipes: Cabernet Poached Pears

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6 firm Bartlett pears
1 bottle red wine (preferably Cabernet)
1 vanilla bean, whole
2 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup sugar
Chocolate Pear Cabernet Sauce

Peel pears and leave stem intact.

In a large saucepan, bring wine and an equal amount of cold water to a simmer. Split vanilla bean lengthwise and add to wine and water mixture.

Add cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and sugar, to taste. Add pears to liquid and simmer for about 20 minutes or until tender.

Test for doneness by inserting a sharp knife in the base; there should be little resistance when fully cooked.

Gently transfer pears to a glass or ceramic bowl. Pour enough poaching liquid over pears just to cover.

Cover and refrigerate for several hours, preferably overnight; the longer the pears soak, the darker they will become.

When ready to serve, place pears on individual dish and come to room temperature.

Heat Chocolate Pear Cabernet Sauce until warm. Drizzle sauce over room temperature pears.

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