Visiting chef Laura Pauli of Cucina Testa Rossa shared this delicious Poached Pear recipe when she taught at our cooking school, La Cocina Que Canta. They’re a wonderful dinner party dessert served chilled with a scoop of your favorite sorbet or served warm with a drizzle of chocolate or another sweet condiment.
“These are easy peasy to make,” says Lauri, “you can start the cooking just before you serve the first course or, better yet, make it a day or two ahead. If you have a special dinner coming up and want to serve something elegant but not complicated, have been working late and have no time, fear not, here’s the perfect recipe.” These also make a sweet and delicious topper when chilled and sliced thin on waffles or french toast. Take your evening dessert or breakfast to another level with these delicious red stained beauties. ¡Buen provecho!
- 3 cups wine (white or red wine or any flavored liquid such as orange juice, tea…)
- 1 cup water
- 2/3 cup agave (or 1 cup sugar)
- zest & juice of 1 orange
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
- 4 pears
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 1 basket strawberries, half small dice, half puréed
- Pour the wine, water, and agave in a pot large enough to hold all the pears and stir to combine. Add the orange zest and juice, cinnamon stick and vanilla bean seeds and pod. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- While the liquid is simmering, peel the pears, cut in half, core the seeds and root with a melon baller and rub with the lemon half so they don’t turn brown.
- Add the pears to the liquid. If there isn’t enough liquid to cover the pears, add water. Simmer gently until the pears are cooked through, about 15 for really ripe pears or 45 minutes if they’re firmer and ripped. You’ll know they’re done when you get no resistance from inserting a knife into the center so check them every 15 minutes if you’re not sure. When done, take pears out and set aside.
- Reduce the liquid in the pan until it has thickened and has a syrup consistency. If you have time to chill it, the syrup will become very thick.
- To serve: Spoon syrup on the plate. Slice the pear lengthwise so it will fan out. Optional garnishes include edible flowers, chopped strawberries, a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the winter and sorbet in the summer.