A jar of pears in red wine in your store cupboard is a great standby when unexpected guests arrive.
Makes 1 x 1 litre jar of preserved pears in red wine
• 9 medium-sized pears
• 1½ bottles red wine
• 165 g (205 ml) sugar
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 3 star anise seeds
• zest of 2 lemons, cut into long, thin strips
Peel the pears but keep the stems intact. Cover the pears with lightly salted water. Bring red wine, sugar, cinnamon, star anise and zest to the boil in a large saucepan, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Put whole pears in the red wine mixture, cover and cook for 25 minutes or until soft. Turn pears occasionally while cooking. Pack pears into a sterilized jar along with cinnamon sticks, star anise and lemon zest strips. Fill jar with red wine syrup and close tightly. Set aside to cool before storing in the fridge for a week.
Preserving food was an everyday task before fridges became commonplace. I still remember the jars of guavas and quinces lining my grandmother’s pantry shelves. My method of preserving is similar to hers, but ingredients such as blueberries and chillies are new
How to sterilise jars for preserved pears in red wine
Put a clean tea towel in the bottom of a large saucepan. Fill the pan with water and bring to the boil. Put jars and lids in the water and boil for 5 minutes. Remove jars and lids with thongs and leave upside down on a wire rack to dry. Fill air-dried jars with the preserved product. Remember, jars must be kept in the fridge after they have been opened
Edition SARIE FOOD April / May 2014 | Story Perfectly preserved | Recipe Preserved pears in red wine