Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
¾ cup port wine
⅓ cup dried cherries
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 ripe but firm pears, such as Bosc, Comice or Anjou
4 star anise pods, (optional)
Combine port and cherries in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in sugar and lemon juice and let cool. Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare 4 pieces of parchment paper or foil for papillotes (see Tip).
Peel, halve and core pears. Cut pear halves lengthwise into 10 to 12 thin slices, stopping just short of the stem end so that the slices are still attached at the top. Fan the pear halves by pressing on them gently. Open the papillotes and carefully transfer 2 pear halves to each opened paper heart, placing their stem ends toward the center of one half of the heart. Spoon the cherry-port mixture over the pears, distributing it equally. Garnish each package with a star anise pod, if using. Seal the packages and place them on a baking sheet. Bake until the packages are puffed, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the packages to individual plates; let each diner open his or her own package.
To prepare a papillote: Cut a piece of parchment paper or foil about 12 inches by 16 inches. Fold in half an 8-by-12-inch rectangle, then cut into a half-heart shape as you would a Valentine.