Poached Pears in Honey and Cinnamon Syrup

Adapted via Giada de Laurentiis
Serves: 6

For the simple syrup:
♦ 2 cups sugar
♦ 2 cups water

For the pears:
♦ 1 (750-ml) bottle Moscato wine or other sweet dessert wine
♦ 1 cinnamon stick, broken in 1/2
♦ 2 tbsp honey
♦ 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
♦ 6 small, firm, ripe Anjou pears, peeled

Make the simple syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool (you will have about 2 3/4 cups).

Poach the pears: In a saucepan large enough to hold all the pears, combine the moscato, 2 cups of the simple syrup, cinnamon stick halves, and honey. Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean and add the bean and seeds to the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the honey has melted. Add the pears and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until the pears are tender. Remove the pears from the liquid and allow to cool.

Continue to simmer the liquid until it thickens and is reduced by half, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Remove the cinnamon stick halves and the vanilla bean and discard.

Place each pear on a small serving plate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Drizzle with the honey and cinnamon syrup. Serve with simple yellow or pound cake, if desired (can be made 8 hours ahead of time).

To read more about this dish and my musical pairing, click HERE.

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