Spiced Pear Purée

5 ripe pears
4 tablespoons sugar
4 ounces Cognac
6 cinnamon sticks
8 star anise
12 whole cloves
1 vanilla bean

Preheat oven to 350°.

Peel, halve, and core pears. Put in a roasting pan.

Cut 1 vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape seeds out and add pod and seeds to roasting pan with pears.

Place remaining ingredients in pan and roast for 30 minutes, or until pears are tender. Remove the spices and vanilla pod, then purée the pears and any liquid in a blender. Cool before adding to punch ingredients.