Monday, November 9, 2009
Why Didn't I Try This Before?
I had always put off poaching pears in spiced wine. Maybe peeling them seemed daunting, or perhaps it seemed like a waste of wine....
In any event, I am glad I finally got around to it because I discovered it was easy and tasty.
Basically you peel several pears leaving the stem intact (however many will fit in one layer of your pot, so it depends on the size of the pears) . Add them to a pot in which you have already combined I bottle red wine, 1 cup sugar (I used half brown sugar), a couple of cloves, a couple of cinnamon sticks, a vanilla bean or some vanilla (Since they are expensive, I used an old bean that had been flavoring sugar already for a year and a half), and the zest of 1 lemon and one orange. You can also toss in a few prunes to impart and soak up flavours.
Simmer gently for about 15 or twenty minutes depending on ripeness and pear size. Reposition them gently a few times in case parts of them are sticking out. You can remove them to chill, or leave them overnight to soak and become more richly colored as I did. The recipe suggested mint leaves for the garnish, but I tried a leaf from my scented geranium (they're edible!), and the fragrance really complements the pear.
The recipe says to reduce the sauce after removing the pears, and add some jam for flavour and thickness, but at this point I am tempted to buy more pears and simmer another batch......