Astonishingly simple to make, poached pears form an elegant finale to any meal, humble or sophisticated. Here they are served with vanilla ice cream and some chocolate lace purchased from a gift shop; they also serve as a flavourful follow up to a cheese course.
A cinch to prepare, incredibly elegant and a caloric bargain! Doesn’t get any better…
- • 2 1/4 c dry red wine, such as Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon
- • 1/2 c granulated sugar
- • 2 cinnamon sticks
- • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- • Pinch kosher salt
- • 3 ripe but slightly firm pears, peeled, halved through the stem, and cored
- • 3 tbsp roughly chopped, lightly toasted pistachios
- • 1 pint high quality vanilla ice cream
- Combine the wine, sugar, cinnamon sticks, vanilla, salt, and water in 6-quart saucepan. Ideally, the halved pears should fit in a snug single layer. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to low, add the pears, and cook at a bare simmer (basting occasionally if there are any unsubmerged parts) until just tender when pierced with a wooden skewer or toothpick, 15 to 30 minutes depending on ripeness. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the pears to macerate in the poaching liquid for at least 2 hours, or refrigerate in the liquid overnight.
- Transfer 2/3 cup of the poaching liquid to a small saucepan and boil over high heat until reduced by half and slightly syrupy, about 5 minutes. Let cool. Spoon a little syrup onto each of four serving plates. Place the pears, cut side down, on a cutting board and, holding the knife at a 45-degree angle, slice them lengthwise about 1/3 inch thick almost to the stem, so the slices remain attached at the stem end. Transfer the pears to the serving plates and press down gently to fan them out, exposing the lighter centers. Sprinkle the pears with the pistachios and serve with a scoop of ice cream and garnish with a piece of chocolate lace.
- Serving Size: 6