A delicious dessert that can be made ahead and is beautiful any time of the year. I often substitute peaches or plums in the summer which cook very quickly depending on their ripeness. Look for lesser ripe fruit as the cooking process will soften the fruit and you want it to keep its shape. Apples are also wonderful for poaching; pick a cooking apple such as Granny Smith, Braeburn or Rome Beauties.
6 Bosc pears, with stems intact
2 strips of lemon peel, 1/2 inch wide by 2 inches long
1 lemon, halved
3 cups cabernet sauvignon or bugundy
4 Tb. sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tb. confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Peel the pears, halve and core them. Drop the pears as they are peeled into a bowl of cold water with the juice of the lemon.
- In a wide high-sided saucepan combine the lemon peel, wine, sugar and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the pears and lower the heat to med-low. Cover the pan and simmer until the pears are tender about 15 minutes. Remove the pears from the wine and set aside.
- Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce to a thick glaze about 15 to 20 minutes . Cool slightly.
- Meanwhile whip the heavy cream in a large bowl with the tablespoon of confectioner’s sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.
- Serve the pears with the whipped cream and a little of the sauce poured over each.
* If using figs, halve them and poach in the red wine liquid until tender about 5 minutes. Use one fig per person.