Poached pears in white wine sauce is a classic French dessert that's easy to make and delicious to eat
4 medium firm Warren pears
2 cups white wine
3 1/2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean, or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups white granulated sugar
Thinly peel the pears, making sure to keep the stem intact. Slightly slice the bottom of the pears so they will stand up in the pan and when serving.
In a large and tall saucepan, stir together the white wine, water, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Once the liquid is simmering, add the prepared pears and place them standing on the pan. The liquid should cover most of the pears' height.
Poach the pears, uncovered, for 7 to 9 minutes until their meat is slightly tender, but they are still firm enough to hold their shape. Watch this process carefully as you do not want the pears to overcook or they will collapse.
Remove the pears from the poaching liquor with a slotted spoon and place them on individual serving plates.
Return the poaching liquid to a simmer. Add the sugar and allow the mixture to reduce in volume by half or about 6 to 8 minutes. The syrup is ready when it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Remove the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean from the syrup and strain the liquid through a fine sieve.
Drizzle each pear with the wine syrup and add any other topping that you'd like.