September 20, 2012

Stuffed Poached Pears In Red Wine

This has become one of my favorite fall traditions.  Poached pears in red wine is a beautiful and elegant dessert that is simple to make and divinely delicious.  Put this on your list of desserts to try - you will not be disappointed!  

Note:  You can serve these either as a warm or cold dessert.  I have included instructions on how to serve as a cold dessert with a delicious reduction of the wine to drizzle on top.  

Serves 3 or 4
  • 3 or 4 pears, peeled with the stem kept intact
  • 2 c dry red wine
  • 1/4 c honey 
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp orange zest 
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split in half and scraped
  • 1/16 tsp black pepper 
  • 1/4 c walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • Optional:  Crumbled feta cheese 
  • 4 walnut halves 

Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each pear to help the pears stand up on their own.  Using a sharp paring knife, carefully cut out the core from the bottom of the pear.  Spoon 1 tablespoon of the coarsely chopped walnuts and optional feta in the center of the pear.  "Seal" the bottom of the hole with a walnut half.  Repeat with the remaining pears.  

Add the wine, honey, cinnamon stick, orange zest, vanilla bean with scrapings, and pepper into a sauce pan that is large enough to hold 3 or 4 pears.  Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.  

Decrease the heat to a low simmer and place the pears in the liquid.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, turning the pears over every 6 minutes.  When turning the pears over, turn them by their stems to keep from disfiguring them.  

Carefully remove the pears from the liquid.  Remove the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean.  Ladle 1/4 of the liquid in a serving bowl and place a pear standing up in the liquid.  Sprinkle walnuts over all.  Repeat with the remaining liquid and pears.  

Serve warm and enjoy!

If you would prefer to serve this dessert cold, chill the pears in the refrigerator.  Meanwhile, reduce the liquid mixture by half until it turns into a syrup.  Place the wine reduction in the refrigerator to chill.  Once you are ready to serve, drizzle the the syrup over the pears and enjoy!

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