Monday, November 26, 2007

Wine-Poached Pears

Copyright 2007 by Cooking With The Single Guy

3 to 4 pears
2 cups red wine
2 cups water
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
2 whole cloves
2 Juniper berries (optional)

3 oz. Marscapone cheese
1 t powdered sugar
1 T heavy cream

Peel pears but keep the stem intact. Drop the pears into a large saucepan filled with red wine, water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves and Juniper berries. Add more wine and water if you need to fully cover the pears. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until pears are fork tender, about 35 to 40 minutes (depending on the ripeness). You might want to stir the pears occasionally to make sure they cook evenly.

You can store pears in the poaching liquid in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, remove the pears and with a melon baller, scoop out the core of the pears starting from the bottom. You may need to slice a thin layer from the bottom to make the pear stand upright when serving. (You can core the pear before you begin poaching them if you rather handle the pears when firm instead of fragile soft after they’ve been poached.)

Put about half of the poaching liquid in a smaller saucepan (making sure you remove the cinnamon sticks and berries) and cook at medium heat for about 40 to 50 minutes to create a reduction that you can drizzle over the pears.

In a small bowl, whisk together the marscapone cheese (at room temperature), sugar and heavy cream until smooth. Then scoop the filling into the pears with a small spoon or pipe in with a pastry bag filled with the cheese.

Plate your marscapone-filled pears and drizzle with wine reduction. Serve immediately.

Makes 3 to 4 servings.

Pair with a glass of Pinot Grigio.

TIP: When peeling the pears, have a bowl of ice water and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice nearby. That way as you peel the pear, you can dip it in the lemon water to keep the pear from browning too much. (This is mostly for appearance.)

WHITE CREAM: I like pairing the pear with marscapone cheese because cheese is always a nice pair to pears. But if you don’t have marscapone cheese, you can simply serve it with some vanilla ice cream. Keep in mind this will make your dessert sweeter when paired with your pears that were poached in wine and sugar.


Anonymous said...

Where would one find marscapone cheese? I'm having a some friends over for dinner Thursday and this may be our dessert!

kathy said...

OOH nice picture! It makes me think of caves for some reason.

Single Guy Ben said...

Mrs. L, I usually get my marscapone cheese at Whole Foods. But you can also find them at specialty food stores like The Pasta Shop and at Italian deli's like Lucca's in the Mission District. It's a soft cheese so you'll find it in the refrigerated section with other soft cheeses, sometimes near the creme fraiche.

Another tip, I would buy the pears Wednesday night to let it ripen a bit before Saturday. You can test to see if they're ripe by touching the top of the neck and it should feel soft but not mushy. Don't refrigerate them while you're waiting for your pears to ripen. Hope you have a nice dinner!

Kathy, hmmm, everyone sees different things. Maybe it's the curves that makes you think of a cave? But I assure you you won't find these pears in caves! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the hint. I waited to late to buy the pears...they just didn't look good. But I'm still on the hunt for them and marscapone.

Anonymous said...

I looked so long for this recipe, and was so happy to find it! My mother used to make these when I was a kid, they're fantastic! Will totally be making them for my next dinner party!