Poached Pear Recipe?
I'm looking for an elegant, but light dessert to finish a somewhat heavy meal. I would love to make poached pears. I have seen recipes using marscapone in the center and poaching the fruit in a syrup. Does anyone have a good recipe for something similar? I'm open to other options if you have ideas. Thanks!
I have made Poire Belle Helene, which has been a big hit.
It's just sliced poached pears over vanilla ice cream with hot fudge -- it's a really surprisingly perfect combination. I'd say to use one to two scoops of ice cream, half a pear and 2 tablespoons of fudge, but obviously you can use your discretion.
For the actual cooking part: I like to poach my pears in gingerale -- it helps get them to just the right consistency.
I've poached pears in sweet Belgian beer with great success. Ambers like Chimay Red label, or a sweet triple are good for this. Unibroue La Fin Du Monde, Maudite, or Don De Dieu are also nice. I just add a little sugar (to negate the effects of the bitter hops) and enough beer to cover quartered pears, with a couple of whole cloves and a little cinnamon. Simmer uncovered until pears are tender. Then I take the pears out of the liquid and reduce the liquid until it gets syrupy and drizzle on top of the pears.
A little while ago I had the same question and ended up doing a poached pear in puff pastry type thing, which ended up being really tasty and quite light.
For poaching, I didn't really have a recipe but I used cranberry juice, a little white wine and honey, threw in a cinnamon stick, slices of fresh ginger and some cloves. I think this would work fine with whole pears but I halved and cored them first. I just left them in until they felt right when pierced with a knife (sorry, not very specific, but just so that there isn't a lot of resistance, but they aren't too soft).
AFter they were done I took them out, strained the poaching liquid, added sugar then reduced it down to a nice syrup. I rolled out the puff pastry (really thin), placed a pear half inside, filled the core with some syrup, topped with the other pear half, and made a dumpling with the pastry. Bake and drizzle with a little more syrup. Also delicious with a little vanilla bean icecream (and another drizzle of syrup!)
I've never used a recipe for poached pears either. My standard formula is a nice wine, some sugar or honey, spices that feel right - fresh ginger with a light white, star anise and cloves with a heavier red. But a note on prep - the easiest way to get the core out (for stuffing with things like marscapone) without losing the stem is to use a melon baller and scoop it out from the bottom. Smaller pears are better if serving this way, as a big pear, stuffed, is a lot of dessert. They look smashing. Of course, if you bake the pears in a dumpling, it doesn't matter.
Oh, and I used to make the red wine version stuffed with marzipan, softened in the Kitchenaid with a drizzle of the syrup, with some minced candied ginger worked in. We sold these at "gourmet take-out" shop back when everyone was afraid of fat, not carbs. They were good.