Monday, January 24, 2011

Poached Pears

I poached some pears for dessert recently. I wanted to try poaching in Mead, a honey wine, that I found at my local wine store.
 I had tasted it as a dessert wine but felt like it was better suited for a poaching liquid. I used Chaucers Mead because it was a little spicier than the other brands.

 I added a little brown sugar and a little cinnamon stick to the poaching liquid. I poached the Bosc pears about 45 minutes. The recipe I used called for about 25 minutes but I recommend using the knife inserted into the pear rule. If it pierces the pear easily, they are done.
Poaching liquid
The recipe also suggested that the pears be served with mascarpone cheese and blue cheese. I think that is a lovely idea and I plan to give it a try next time. For my homey dessert though, I served it with Butter Pecan ice cream and ginger cookies. I will give more details on the ginger cookies in my next post.
I also served a pear liqueur, Belle de Brillet, with the dessert. It was really good but a little sweet. I think it would go better with the dessert if I had served the cheeses alongside instead of the ice cream and cookies.

Poached Pears

1 1/4 cups Mead
3/4 cup  light brown sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, zest cut into strips
6 Bosc pears, peeled, and cored*,stems intact
4 ounces macarpone cheese, optional
4 ounces Cashel blue cheese, optional

In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the mead, sugar, water, cinnamon sticks, and orange zest to a boil. Cook 6 to 8 minutes, or until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is syrupy. Reduce the heat to low, add the pears,and simmer covered, for about 25 to 35 minutes, or until the pears are tender. Turn the pears 2 or 3 times during cooking. Remove from heat and let the pears cool in the poaching liquid (may be stored in the refrigerator at this point for up to 2 days). Strain the liquid into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered untill poaching liquid is thick and syrupy.

Slice each pear lengthwise almost all the way through and fan out onto a dessert  plate. Drizzle thickened syrup over each pear. Serve with a scoop of Butter Pecan ice cream and ginger cookies. As an alternative garnish, whisk together the mascarpone and blue cheese until blended in a small bowl and add a scoop alongside the pear.

Pears cooling in the poaching liquid
And don't forget a glass of Belle de Brillet.
*To core the pears, I used a melon baller to scoop the seeds out of the bottom of the uncooked  pear. It only took a couple of scoops to bore halfway up the center of the pear leaving it beautifully intact and seedless.

1 comment:

  1. I love poached pears but have never tried poaching them in anything but wine. And I've never eaten them with cheese. All these great ideas -- thanks, Evelyn!


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