- 6 small, firm stewing pears, peeled
- 1 bottle good-quality red wine or a non-alcoholic alternative (350 ml apple juice and 350 ml cranberry juice)
- 240 grams granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, cut in half lengthwise
- juice and zest of 1 organic orange
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
- 2 star anise
- 4 all-spice berries
Pour the wine (or juices) into the pot of the slow cooker.
Add the sugar, scrape the seeds out of the vanilla pod with the back of a knife, and add the seeds and the pod to the pot. Add the orange juice.
Turn the slow cooker to Brown/Sauté and heat the liquid. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Cut the bottom of the pears so they remain upright and place in the pot.
Add the cinnamon stick, star anise and all-spice berries. Also add the zest of the orange.
Set the slow cooker to Slow Cook HI and set the timer for 2 hours. Pierce the pears with the tip of a knife to check if they are cooked. If not, cook them a little longer.
Scoop the pears into a bowl and pour the sauce through a strainer over the pears. Leave to cool in the fridge overnight.
When the pears are ready, scoop them out of the pot, but let the liquid cook on the Brown/Sauté setting for a few more minutes. This will give you a thick syrup that goes beautifully with the pears, accompanied by a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.