Red Wine Poached Pears

Total Time:
13 hr 40 min
Prep:
40 min
Inactive:
12 hr
Cook:
1 hr

Yield:
6 servings
Level:
Intermediate

NUTRITION INFO
Ingredients
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 1 bottle red wine (recommended: Shiraz/Syrah or Zinfandel)
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 4 cardamom seeds
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 Bartlett pears, peeled
  • Creamy Pistachio Nut Filling:
  • 1 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
Directions
  • Creamy Pistachio Nut Filling, recipe follows

  • Special equipment: a wide saucepot, parchment paper, a parisienne scoop/small melon baller, a piping bag

  • Juice the lemon and orange, reserving the juiced citrus halves. Put the juice, citrus halves, wine, water, honey, ginger, black peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, star anise and bay leaf in a wide saucepot. Gently place the pears into the liquid. Make a circle of parchment paper that is 1/2-inch larger than the pot and cover surface completely with the parchment paper (see Cook's Note*). Make sure the pears are fully submerged but not touching the bottom of the pot. Bring the poaching liquid and pears to a boil, then reduce the heat to just below a simmer.

  • Cook the pears until fork tender. Test for doneness by inserting a sharp knife in the base; there should be little resistance when fully cooked. Gently transfer pears to a glass or ceramic bowl. Pour enough poaching liquid over pears just to cover. Cover and refrigerate for several hours, preferably overnight; the longer the pears soak, the darker they will become.

  • Strain remaining poaching liquid and return to saucepan. Cook over high heat until a syrupy consistency is achieved or the syrup coats the back of a spoon. Chill until the pears are served.

  • Use a parisienne scoop to remove each pear's core, hollowing out a 1-inch wide cavity that starts at the base and extends 3/4 of the way up the pear. Transfer the Creamy Pistachio Nut Filling to a piping bag without a tip. Gently fill the pear cavity until it slightly overflows. (The overflow will help to provide a sticky surface to stand the pear up on.) Place the pear, base side down, in a bowl and surround with 1-ounce of the syrup. Serve.

  • Cook's Note: *Make sure the poaching liquid is kept below a simmer so that the delicate pears don't fall apart from the agitation of the liquid.

Creamy Pistachio Nut Filling:
  • In a medium-sized bowl, cream the mascarpone, sugar, and vanilla together. Stir in the pistachio nuts.

  • Use immediately or refrigerate and return to room temperature before filling the pears.


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