370ml ruby port
370ml fruity red wine
1 small clove of garlic, peeled
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
365g caster sugar
8 ripe William pears
pour the port into a pan, bring to the boil, and reduce gently for 15-20 mins. Add wine, garlic, thyme and spice, and boil again to reduce by half. Add the sugar, and 370ml of water, bring to the boil and reduce until syrupy (10-15 mins). Remove from the heat, and allow to cool.
peel, quarter and core the pars. Place them in the syrup, put the pan back on the stove, and poach for about 5 mins, until pears are tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Serve with glazed gammon or other cold meats.