Day 24: Spiced Bosc Pears in Red Wine Syrup

Spiced Bosc Pears in Red Wine Syrup  

Day Twenty-Four (13.06.2012)
Processing: Hot Water Bath Canner 20mins
Yield: 3 x pints (6 cups)
I found bosc pears at my local f+v store and thought these delicious, firm pears would be perfectly partnered with a nice glass of red wine - in fact, you can serve these warm with a spoonful of good quality greek yoghurt or a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Heat the syrup in a small saucepan for a sauce to drizzle over the top :-) Choose a good quality wine that you enjoy: good wine = good syrup! And any variety of firm-fleshed pear would be suitable for this recipe, too.
pre-soaking pear slices
to prevent browning
Begin by sterilising the jars in boiling water and the rings/seals in simmering water - they will sterilise while you prepare the syrup and pear slices.  I heated the syrup while slicing the pears: in a medium saucepan, combine the red wine, water, sugar and spices. Heat until sugar has dissolved and syrup is hot. Meanwhile, wash pears, remove ends and blemishes, peel, wash again then slice, removing core. Place into bowl with water and lemon juice to prevent browning.
Preparing spiced red wine syrup
When ready, raw-pack pear slices into hot sterilised jars with star anise and cinnamon sticks (remove with a slotted spoon from syrup), packing one star anise  and one cinnamon stick halfway down the side of each jar to allow flavour to develop through the jar. Ladle hot syrup into sterilised pint jars to 1/2 inch (1cm) headspace, covering pear slices. Remove bubbles, check headspace is correct then wipe rims, apply seals and twist bands on to fingertip-tight. Process in hot water bath canner for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove jars after 5 minutes to a teatowel-covered bench to rest overnight. The next day remove bands, label and store in a cool, dark place for up to 12 months. I made about 3 pints using six large pears in this recipe. If you have a larger amount of pears, simply make another batch of syrup (note it's important to keep the ratio of ingredients the same).
6 large bosc pears (or any firm pear would suit)
4 cups water
1/4 cup lemon juice (bottled or fresh)
2 cups red wine (I used Merlot)
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups white sugar

6 whole star anise
6 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped)
This would also be delicious with other spice combinations and any of your favourite red wine would suit ...
The recipe for making your own spiced bosc pears in red wine syrup
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