For some reason we get given bottles of red wine. Funny that, cos we don't drink! So I have to resort to cooking with wine, which I don't mind, specially when it comes to pears and ice cream. Wine reduces down nicely to a thick sweet syrup.

4 beurre bosc pears

2 c red wine

1/2 c coconut sugar

1 orange peeled into strips

juice of 1 orange

1 cinnamon stick

2 star anise

6 whole cloves

1 tsp vanilla extract or sliced vanilla pod 

Place all the ingredients except the pears into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes or until sugar has dissolved.

Peel the pears and slice a little bit off the bottom of each so they sit up in the pot. Place in the pot, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for around 45 minutes or until pears are tender. Turn the pears every 10 minutes or so to evenly coat them with the liquid.

Remove the pears with a slotted spoon and set aside. Turn up the heat and boil the liquid for 10 minutes until it is thickened and syrupy. Strain into a jug.

You can serve the pears hot or cold drizzled with syrup, and with yoghurt, ice cream or mascarpone cream. You can also eat them for breakfast, lunch or dessert!

For variations you could use lemon peel and juice, any kind of sugar, add fresh or frozen berries to the syrup.

The pear bath.