Source: The Martha Stewart Show, September 2010
- 2 (250 mL) bottles dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc
- 2 (3-inch) strips lemon zest
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 5 firm, ripe Bosc or Bartlett pears, peeled, stems intact
- Stilton cheese, for serving
Pour wine into a medium saucepan; add lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla bean and seeds. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Continue cooking for 5 minutes more.
Add pears and reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Place a parchment paper round in saucepan to cover and submerge pears. Cook until pears are easily pierced with a knife, but not mushy, about 45 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer pears to a large bowl and set aside. Return saucepan to stove; bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until reduced by half. Pour reduced liquid over pears. Place a parchment paper round in bowl to cover and submerge pears; cover bowl and transfer to refrigerator at least 6 hours and up to overnight.
One hour before serving, remove pears from refrigerator; bring to room temperature. Just before serving, halve and core pears and serve drizzled with reduced poaching liquid and a slice of cheese.