4.2018

Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

Poached Pears in Red Wine Sauce–a heavenly dessert!

Pears poached in red wine

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cold water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 6 firm but ripe Bosc or Bartlett pears (with stems intact)
  • 1 bottle light red wine
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 strip orange rind
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 whole vanilla bean, cut in half
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Fresh-whipped heavy cream, mascarpone cheese, or crème fraiche for serving

Preparation:

  • In a large bowl, combine the water and lemon juice. Peel the pears, keeping the stems intact. Cut a small slice from the base of each pear so the fruit will sit without toppling. Drop each one into the water; set aside. This will keep the pears from browning.
  • In a saucepan large enough to hold all the pears, combine the wine, sugar, orange rind, anise, vanilla, clove, and cinnamon. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  • Take the pears from the water and place them lovingly into the simmering sauce. To keep the pears submerged in the poaching liquid, cut a circle of parchment paper the size of the saucepan and set it on the surface of the liquid. (only in case they float to the top, which will affect their becoming cooked. I haven’t found this to be an issue…)
  • Simmer the pears for 25 minutes or until they are tender when pierced with a skewer. They may need 5 to 10 minutes longer if they were not ripe.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat. Allow the pears to cool for 15 or so minutes in the poaching liquid. (Once cooled, you can transfer the pears and their liquid to a large container, where they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days).
  • Strain about one-third of the poaching liquid into a saucepan. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Let the mixture bubble steadily until it reduces to a syrupy glaze, with a consistency like thin honey.
  • To serve, place a pear in a shallow bowl and drizzle with the syrup. Add a dollop of the creamy topping.

Note: With their elegant contoured shape, pears are an attractive dessert. Make a poaching liquid from red wine, which lends the flesh of the fruit its deep ruby color, and add orange rind, vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, a whole clove, and a star anise for more aroma. After poaching, leave the pears in the liquid overnight (or for a few days), and the fruit will keep getting darker and fuller flavored. Simmer the syrup into a glaze, garnish with whipped cream or mascarpone, and you have an ideal ending to a hearty holiday meal.

Thanks to Wendy Van Wagner of In the Kitchen for this amazing dessert recipe! It’s what I am making for my family at Thanksgiving. Yum!

Robin Mallery

Robin Mallery

Robin Mallery is passionate about food! Starting from where and how it's grown, to how far that food travels to the dinner table, to how it is prepared and savored...Robin blends shopping, cooking, and eating tips with her unique Kitchen Zen and mindful meals approach to enjoying real food.

While you are waiting for her to finish the upcoming book, "Kitchen Zen: The Journey to Nourish Body and Soul in Our Changing World", you can find Robin's sporadic blog posts here or on FaceBook.
Robin Mallery

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"The Holiday Survival Cooking and Eating Class exceeded my expectations. It was so enjoyable to learn new ideas for healthy snacks and meals, taste the delicious treats we created and leave with an inspired hope that this will be my healthiest holiday season yet! I am impressed with the knowledge and care that Robin (and Wendy from In the Kitchen) both possess and I look forward to taking more classes in the future. Thanks again!"  --Rose M.   “What a wonderful, yummy class! Not only did we participate in creating several easy-to-make, delicious, nourishing dishes for the holidays and every day, we also learned strategies for surviving and enjoying the upcoming holiday season. Both Robin & Wendy were delightful and imparted their cooking and eating knowledge with love, humor, and enthusiasm. I highly recommend their classes to anyone who is interested in developing a better way to look at food, using thoughtfulness with mindfulness to learn some very valuable strategies for eating any time of the year!” --CAM   “I found the class delightful with great ideas for the holidays. In the Kitchen is a warm and welcoming place and you and Wendy were great teaching collaborators. Good new recipes. I appreciate your healthy eating information. I recommend this class to anyone wanting to enjoy the holidays without stressing over food. Actually, the information isn’t just for the holidays. I want to stay healthy all year and eat well.” --Pat B.   "I’ve participated in several classes at In the Kitchen, enjoyed them all immensely, but it is always a special treat when Wendy teaches a class. The recipes offered in The Holiday Survival class were easy to make and so delicious. And what a plus to have Robin co-teach the The Holiday Survival class with Wendy. Thank you, Robin, for all your great information on healthy eating, which was delivered so professionally, dovetailing beautifully into Wendy’s presentation. Hope you two team up again for more classes of scrumptious, healthy recipes. What a fun evening!!" --Carol B. _______________ I love this positive feedback! How gratifying it is to touch the lives of others in a meaningful way…and to be able to do so around a topic that is so dear to me, is just the icing on the cake (right—pun intended!). Wendy Van Wagner and I will continue to offer seasonal cooking classes in addition to the occasional specialty class…stay tuned!
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