A wonderful light dessert after a satisfying meal!
Poached Pears in Wine with Ginger & Peppercorns
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 20 min
4 cups water
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed
4 to 6 ripe (not soft) Pears with stems (Bosc, Bartlett, Anjou, or Comice)
1 bottle dry red
wine (your choice)
1 cup granulated
Zest and juice of 1
4 (1/2-inch) slices of peeled fresh ginger
In a large bowl, combine the water and lemon juice (called
acidulated water). Peel pears, leaving stems intact, and cut a thin slice from bottom of
each to enable pear to stand upright when served. Place the pears in the acidulated water
to keep from browning while you're getting everything else ready.
In a large pan (large enough to hold the pears either
laying on their sides or standing upright), add red wine and sugar; bring just to a boil.
Add lemon zest, lemon juice, ginger slices, and peppercorns.
Remove pears from acidulated water and arrange on their
sides in poaching liquid; add enough additional water as necessary to just cover pears.
Cover pan with a smaller-sized lid, making sure that it rests directly on the pears (the
smaller lid keeps the pears submerged, thus guaranteeing even cooking). Reduce heat to low
and simmer, turning them occasionally, approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until pears are
tender. NOTE: Judge the tenderness of pears by probing carefully with a thin bladed knife
- it should meet little resistance. Don't poach for too long as the pears will quickly
disintegrate to mush.
NOTE: Poach the pears the same day
that you plan to serve them. Something weird happens to the pears when refrigerated
more than a day - the middle of the pears turn brown.
When done, carefully transfer pears with a slotted spoon to
their serving dishes. Strain the ginger slices and peppercorns from the poaching liquid.
Increase heat to medium-high and boil liquid until it is reduced to about 3/4 cup and
slightly syrupy (watch carefully so it does not burn). Remove from heat and pour sauce
over pears. Cover and refrigerate pears until ready to serve.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.