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Pears Al Vino (Italian Pears in Red Wine)

8 pears
3 cups Bordeaux wine (or a California equivalent)
1 (3 inch) stick of cinnamon
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 whole cloves
1 (2 inch) piece lemon peel
1/2 cup currant jelly
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
lemon juice for flavor adjustment
juice of 1 lemon for acidulated water

Fill a very large bowl with water to which the juice of 1 lemon
has been added. Set aside.

Peel and halve pears. Using the small scoop of a melon baller,
scoop out seeds. Place pears in the bowl of water mixture as they
are prepared. Leave them in the water until they are added to the

In a large saucepan, combine the wine, sugar, cinnamon, cloves,
and lemon peel. Bring to a boil. As soon as the sugar is dissolved,
add the pears. Cook over low heat, partially covered until the
pears are tender. When the pears are done, remove them from a
saucepan and place in a 3 or 4 quart Pyrex baking dish.

Raise the heat under the saucepan and simmer vigorously until the
cooking liquid is reduced by 1/3 and it lightly coats a spoon.
Add the currant jelly to the hot sauce and beat until fully dissolved.
Taste the syrup. If desired, add some lemon juice to increase the
tartness. Add the Grand Marnier. Pour the hot sauce over the
pears. Allow the dessert to cool and chill in the refrigerator.

Remove the dessert from the refrigerator a little bit before serving
to let it begin to approach room temperature.


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