I don’t know what happened. I guess when we left for the holiday we hadn’t finished all of our fruit, and my parents must not big fruit eaters either. Then last week’s box came and now this week’s, and I forgot to change my contents, and suddenly we have 6 apples, 9 pears and a handful of pomegranates, mandarins and one lemon.

My first instinct was – bring out the juicer! Yet the white plastic machine seemed just a glaring sign of defeat, and although there were suggestions of pear tarts, apple pies and fruit salad they all seemed either too involved, or too easy.

Then we received an invitation to a New Year’s Eve party, a simple affair, with a BYO-dessert-to-share theme. I thought of the fruit and popping bottles of champers and all at once, it was clear. It was the champagne that did it.

Champagne poached pears was a recipe that I came across in Epicurious, but as I like Prosecco more than champagne I decided to switch it up a bit. Prosecco just seems to have a bit more complexity, slightly more flavor and can still be as dry or as wet on your palate as you like. And since you’re only using two cups of it – you can drink the rest!

Ginger and lemon matches and enhances the tart and floral qualities of the wine, while cinnamon and vanilla, along with just a spoonful or two of wildflower honey, bring out the sweet and rich flavors of winter dessert, fireside games and hot apple cider. A little simple syrup and in one half-hour, poached pears perfect solitary, alone and delicious, or sliced atop vanilla ice cream like royalty on top of a hill.

This will surely be a hit at the party.

2 cups Prosecco, champagne or other sparkling wine
1 cup simple syrup
2 small cinnamon sticks
2 T honey
1 (3/4) inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 (1/4 inch) pieces of lemon peel
5 medium-sized D’anjou pears, peeled
Vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)

Place pears, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla and lemon peel in a medium-sized pot. Drizzle with honey and pour in wine and simple syrup. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. Turn pears on their side, the liquid should come up about half-way. Add more wine if necessary.

Cover pears with a round piece of wax paper and simmer for 20 minutes, or until a skewer easily pierces pears. Remove and let rest.

In a small sauce pan strain in two cups of sauce and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and continue heating until reduced by half. Let cool until warm. Sauce should lightly cover a spoon like thin syrup.

Place pears in a serving dish, spoon over sauce and garnish with lemon zest, or serve over ice cream.

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