Originally posted: August 2008
For a friend’s farewell dinner, I decided to put a little more effort into the dessert. Initially I wanted to serve up these pears with a hazelnut macaron (another excuse to do my macarooning experiments) and vanilla ice-cream, but eventually opted to do a warm chocolate cake so that I could use up some fondant cake mix sitting in the cupboard.
I also paired the pears with pistachio ice-cream for a little twist and mainly because I knew there would be leftover ice-cream and I would be more than happy to finish anything pistachio.
Riesling Poached Pears
(taken from Global Gourmet)
- 2-1/2 cups Riesling or other fruity white wine
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 firm-but-ripe Bartlett pears with stems (8 ounces each) (I used mini pears and managed to cook about eight)
- In 3-quart non-aluminum high-sided saucepan, stir together wine, sugar, peppercorns, and vanilla bean. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Peel pears, leaving stems attached. Using an apple corer, core the pears from the bottom.
- Place pears in hot liquid, cover pan, and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 20 minutes, or until pears are tender but not falling apart when pierced with tip of knife. With slotted spoon, carefully transfer pears to medium bowl.
- Bring poaching liquid to a boil over high heat and cook for about 25 minutes, or until reduced to a syrup.
- Let liquid cool and stir in vanilla extract, if using. Reserve the vanilla bean, if desired.
- Pour syrup over pears in bowl, cover, and refrigerate, turning occasionally, at least 2 hours, or until well chilled.
- To serve, place 1 pear in each bowl. Strain syrup and spoon over pears. As mentioned above, I didn’t chill my pears so I just let them cool in the syrup.