I don’t know about you but these cold winter nights make me long for food that’s warm and comforting. I am not a big dessert eater. I go more for the salty, crunchy, savory snacks. A bag of Smartfood Popcorn is never safe around me! But Rachel sent me a recipe for Red Wine Poached Pears and yes, it included my favorite food group – you guessed it – wine! It sounded like the perfect easy finish to a good meal.
I ran out of bagged sugar and found this in the back of my pantry.
I combined all the ingredients, except the pears, in a pot and brought it to boil.
Next I added the pears, covered them with a towel ( I forgot the cheesecloth – luckily I had a red towel ) and simmered them for 10 minutes. One pear was a little stubborn and refused to allow itself to cook through. Troublemaker! I turned the pears and continued cooking until all were fork-tender.
When the pears are cooked through remove them from the pot and continue cooking the liquid until it is reduced and more syrupy.
Pour the sauce over the pears and put a spoonful or two of whipped cream over the whole thing. I made my own whipped cream. George was amazed that you can make your own whipped cream and that it is so easy. When I told him that you could keep on whipping the cream until it became butter he was fascinated and disbelieving! I guess he never did that little school project of making butter from scratch. I can remember doing that and then eating the butter on some Saltine crackers. I told him this weekend I would make him up a batch of homemade butter. Being the bread lover he is he was thrilled at the thought of that. Let’s see – loaf of bread, homemade butter…I think I see an opportunity to score some big points here. As you can see it doesn’t take much to make him happy! Love that guy!!
Here is the finished pear dish-
I served the pears to George and his daughter, Brittany. She and I liked the pears. She asked for the recipe. She is a good little foodie in training. George thought it wasn’t sweet enough. I think that was actually why I liked it. He was expecting it to taste more like apple pie- why he would think this I am not quite sure. It is a grown up kind of dessert. Warm and buttery and winey with a hint of cinnamon and spice. Enjoy!
Here is the recipe.
Red Wine Poached Pears
4-6 peeled, halved and cored Pears (Bosc or Anjou)
1 bottle of Red wine or enough to cover the pears (Zinfandel, Shiraz or Merlot)
1 cup of granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 Cinnamon sticks
3 Star Anise
pinch of salt
Note: Make sure the pears you select are very firm, otherwise if they are too ripe they will turn to mush in the poaching process. Also, choose a wine that has more body and full-flavor. You can also substitute red wine for white or substitute 1/2 the wine with Apple Juice.
Combine all ingredients, except pears, in a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and add pears. Cover with a cheese cloth or towel (one that you wouldn’t mind dying red) to ensure even cooking. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, turn pears and simmer until fork-tender. Remove pears from pot and let them cool. Reduce the liquid until thick.
Pour sauce over pears and pair with whipped cream or simple marscapone.