Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
Cut a small slice off the bottom of each pear
so they sit up. Put the pears into a casserole
dish and pour over the wine. Cut the butter
into cubes and push a cube onto the top of
each pear. Sprinkle over the sugar, scatter in
the cinnamon and star anise. Cover with a
lid or foil, then bake in the oven for 30 mins.
Remove the pears from the oven, baste
them well in their juices, then return to the
oven, uncovered, for 40 mins, basting
occasionally, until the pears are soft and
wrinkled. The pears can be prepared to
this point up to 2 days ahead and reheated
in a low oven. Serve the pears warm with
the juices and a spoonful of something
creamy, such as mascarpone.