Well, Christmas is over. And so begins that terrible part of the year where the rest of winter drags on without any of the festive holiday stuff. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Just because the holidays are technically over doesn’t mean we can’t keep enjoying some of the things that are typically reserved for December. And by “some of the things,” I mean mulled wine. Obviously.
So, is leftover mulled wine a thing? It tends to be for me, but I suspect that might just be thanks to my insistence on making it in such large quantities. If you have some too, then great! Use it up with this. If an elf snuck in and drank all your wine, or if you never made it to begin with, you can just make a new batch with the recipe below.
You also probably have some extra pears hanging around from a giant box a long distance relative sent you, right? I’ll assume yes. Here’s a great use for them.
- 1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon (or any other red that you like)
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 tin Dram Magic Mulling Spices
For Poached Pears:
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 pears, peeled
- 2 cups mulled wine
Pour your wine and cider into a large saucepan and add the mulling spice mix. I use about 1/2 of the tin, but you can use more or less depending on how spiced you like your mulled wine. Let that come to a simmer before stirring in the honey. Continue heating on low for about 15 minutes. Strain out the spices and serve. You can also return the wine to the pot over very low heat and have guests serve themselves from the stove, if you are serving a group.
In a large pot over medium heat, whisk together the wine and sugar. As soon as it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and add 4 whole, peeled pears with their stems on. Let this simmer for about 20 minutes, rotating the pears a few times so that they get even color. Remove the pears and set them aside while you finish the sauce. Increase the heat to medium-low and let the liquid reduce until you are left with about half of the amount you started with (so 1 cup). It should be just slightly syrupy, and it will thicken more as it cools. I think the pears look best when served whole with a little sauce ladled over each one. You can also cut them in half and scoop out the core if you want to add a little scoop of ice cream in there.
If you’re in need of more booze to go with these pears, check out Marie Teckmyer’s Pear Rosemary French 75. It’s refreshing and light and, obviously, pear-themed, so it pairs pears well with the dark, rich sauce here.