By Marilyn Markel for The Island Connection
• 2 cups dry red wine
• ½ cup brown sugar or muscovado sugar
• 4 thick slices fresh ginger
• 8 cardamom pods
• 4 sprigs thyme
• 12 oz frozen cranberries
• 4 firm, ripe pears
• crystallized ginger, for garnish
1. In a saucepan large enough to fit the pears in one layer, combine the wine, sugar, ginger, cardamom, thyme and berries. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5 minutes.
2. While liquid is simmering, slice ½ inch off the bottom of the pears to create a flat bottom they can stand up. Peel the pears, leaving the stem intact. Place the pears in the liquid and simmer, turning frequently, until a knife pierces easily.
3. Remove the pears from the poaching liquid. Turn the heat up to medium-high and reduce the liquid to at least ½ and it’s syrupy.
4. Strain the poaching liquid. Drizzle the bottom of soup bowls with the strained poaching liquid. Stand a pear in the center of the bowl and garnish with crystallized ginger. The pears and sauce may also be stored in the refrigerator overnight and served cold.