Saturday, November 20, 2010

Poached Pears in Rose Wine Sauce (recipe)

One of my favorite quick, easy and healthy desserts to prepare! It's also a pretty dish to serve as a finale to your dinner menu. (I serve individually in a large-bottomed and wide-rimmed sangria wine glass which helps the pear stand upright and holds the wine syrup nicely.)

I also served this a couple days ago paired with marscapone cheese mixed with honey, which was as a nice complement to the bumpy texture of the warm pear/sweet wine. This was my own creative pairing risk, but I think it worked well. Balance 4:1 part fruit to cheese as to not overpower. A warm chocolate sauce would also complement nicely if using red wine. In the past I've paired it with vanilla bean or cinnamon ice cream. It may also work with a small side of ricotta/cottage cheese mixed with almond extract or honey (and perhaps add a smidgest of a sprinkle of cinnamon over the cheese for color and flavor).

6 pears (Bosc pears hold up well and are nicely shaped for this dish)
1.5 C Rose wine (red wine sauce alternative below)
2/3 C cranberry/apple juice
orange rind (fresh is best; from dried spice bottle ok)
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves whole
1 bay leaf
5 T sugar

Peel pear. Pour wine and juice in sauce pan. Add orange rind. Add the rest of the ingredients. Heat gently so flavors simmer. Sir until sugar is dissolved. Put pears in upright. Pour cold water to cover pears. simmer 20 minutes until tender. Turn and baste occassionally. Use slotted spoon to transfer unto serving dish.

Boil liquid into a syrup (I usually add more sugar at this point to thicken), reduce by half. Strain syrup. Pour over pears.

Serve with warm chocolate sauce, marcapone cheese (add honey to sweeten and neutralize), vanilla or cinnamon ice cream, or ricotta cheese (with almond extra or honey to sweeten an neutralize).

An alternative: Use red wine sauce rather than Rose for a stronger taste. For red wine sauce, use 1/4 C lemon juice and lemon rind rather than cranberry-apple juice and orange rind; 1/2 t cinnamon, ground ginger and nutmeg. 1 clove optional. Nicely paired with warm chocolate sauce.

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