• 750ml bottle of red wine
• 4 tbsp caster sugar
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• ½ tsp cloves
• 2 orange slices
• 1 stem of ginger in syrup, halved
• 4 ripe, but firm, pears, such as Williams
Pour the red wine into a medium saucepan and add the sugar, spices, orange slices and stem ginger. Slowly bring to a simmer, stirring initially to dissolve the sugar. Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes to allow the aromatics to infuse their flavours into the wine.
Peel each pear, leaving the stalk on, and scoop put the core from the base with a melon baler. Gently lower the pears into the mulled wine. Rest a crumpled piece of greaseproof paper with a small hole cut out in the centre on top; this will help to keep the pears submerged in the liquid.
Poach the pears for 10-20 minutes, depending on ripeness. To test, pierce with a fine metal skewer — it should meet with little resistance. Transfer the pears and mulled wine to a large bowl and leave to cool. Cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavours to develop.
Serve the pears warm, reheating them gently or at room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or sorbet.