Red Wine Pears
A classic cool weather dessert, these poached pears taste best if made a day or two in advance giving them time to soak in the red wine syrup. Serve with crème fraîche, whipped cream or ice cream. Use firm Comice, Anjou, Bartlett or Russet pears.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 6slightly underripe small pears
- 1(750-milliliter) bottle medium-bodied dry red wine, such as Côtes du Rhône
- 1 ¼cups/250 grams granulated sugar
- 1teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 4whole cloves
- 1(2-inch-long) cinnamon stick
- Crème fraîche or ice cream, for serving
- ⅓cup pomegranate seeds, for serving
Step 1Using a sharp vegetable peeler, peel the pears top to bottom, leaving them whole, with stems attached and the core intact.
Step 2Put the pears in a large, wide nonreactive pot (enameled or stainless steel) in one layer. Add the wine, sugar and spices. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer, and cook for about 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted encounters no resistance. Remove from the heat and transfer the pears to a deep container, leaving the liquid in the pot.
Step 3Heat the poaching liquid over high and boil down until it is reduced by half. (You should have about 2 1/2 cups syrup.) Pour syrup over pears, and refrigerate overnight if possible.
Step 4To serve, put each pear in a soup plate and spoon over a little of the red wine syrup. Add a dollop of crème fraîche or a scoop of ice cream, and finish with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds.