4 firm, medium-size pears, such as Anjou, Bartlett, or Bosc
*Make sure they are not overripe or they will not poach well.*
1 bottle robust red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, or Merlot
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp. Tastic Sweet**
¼ cup Cognac
1 whole cinnamon stick
1 orange peel
2 whole cloves
2 star anise
Peel the pears, and place in medium saucepan. Add wine, sugar, Tastic Sweet**, cinnamon stick, orange peel, lemon peel, cloves, star anise, Cognac, and just enough water to cover pears.
Set saucepan over high heat, and bring liquid to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook, occasionally stirring gently, over medium-low heat, until a knife easily pierces pears, about 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat; let pears cool in liquid.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer pears to a plate. Pour poaching liquid through a sieve set over a bowl. Discard solids, and return liquid to saucepan. Place over medium-high heat, and cook until liquid has been reduced to a syrup that coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 45 minutes. Let cool; store pears in an airtight container until ready to serve.
Place on plate, drizzle syrup mixture over top and add whipped cream or ice cream to take it over the top, YUM!!!!