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Poached Pear Epiphany

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I had always intended to make them but never got around to it. There was inevitably something more buttery or more chocolatey to make. Finally a few weeks ago I made them pretty much following Patricia Wells' recipe in Bistro Cooking. ECSTASY. really. Wine, rosemary, the vanilla, the cassis, the pepper. I am still salivating. I just never knew........ or imagined... I ate three of the four and drank the syrup and licked the bowls. Please share your poached pear recipes.

4 bosc pears, peeled and put in smallish saucepan with:
1/2 cup sugar (she calls for vanilla sugar - I didn't have any)
1 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise and seeds scraped - put all in pan
1 bottle pretty good, dry red (I used a zin)
1/2 cup cassis liqueur
2 T lemon juice
1 sprig rosemary
4 cloves
4 black peppercorns

Cover and bring to a simmer. If the liquid doesn't totally cover the pears, turn the pears while cooking. Cook about 30 minutes. Cool and refrigerate 24 hours before serving.

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  1. Absolutely. Poached pears rule.

    I've poached pears two ways:

    1. The classic variety (serves 8):

    8 poached pears
    1 bottle of either white or red wine (I've used both)
    3/4 cup sugar
    20 pitted prunes
    1 orange, sliced into rounds
    1 lemon, sliced into rounds
    1 Tbl. unslated butter
    cinnamon for dusting

    Peel pears, leaving on strips of skin.

    In a medium saucepan, heat the wine and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add pears, prunes, orange and lemon slices, butter and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook until pears are tender, about 20 minutes.

    Remove pears and prunes from pan with a slotted spoon, discard orange and lemon slices, and simmer poaching liquid until reduced to a syrup, about 15 minutes.

    Serve warm or at room temp.

    2. The racy way:

    Roasted pears with candied celery

    2 lemons
    4 cups cold water
    1 cup Moscato (or regular white wine)
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/4 cup apricot jam
    4 Bosc pears
    8 celery ribs, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

    Preheat oven to 375, place rack in middle
    Remove zest from lemons, cover with 2 cups water, boil, drain and rinse. Repeat once more. Pat zest dry.
    Squeeze 1/3 cup lemon into bowl, whisk in wine, sugar, and jam until sugar is dissolved.
    Halve and core pears lengthwise.
    Spread out celery in a 13 x 9 baking dish. Pour in wine mixture. Place pears cut side up. Spread zest around them.
    Bake uncovered for 50-60 minutes, basting once or twice.
    Remove pears when done, pour liquid, zest, and celery into pan and reduce until syrupy, about 15 min.
    Serve, cooled, with sauce over pears.

    Yum!

    2 Replies
    1. re: 280 Ninth

      Thanks very much for those - I love prunes and can't wait to make poached pears with them. Candied celery does sound quite "racy" to me. What does it taste like?

      1. re: Junie D

        Re, the taste of candied celery: The combination of sugar and lemon in the mixture renders the flavor sweet/sour, with the crunchiness of celery thrown in....I loved it, perhaps especially the idea that there COULD be such a thing as candied celery.

        Have fun....poached pears are always a good idea, in my opinion.

    2. Yes, Iove poached pears! I took a cooking class once where they served a poached pear that had been poarched in a red zinfandel with vanilla beans, and they served it with a walnut cake- it was fabulous! All three of the recipes sound even better- candied celery, who would have thought!

      1. I would agree that it was an epiphany, but it was more due to the candied celery revelation than the poached pears. I substituted homemade muscat grape jelly for the apricot jam because I didn't have it. This dish is truly sublime and goes fantastically with earl grey ice cream. Photos here http://novaclutch.typepad.com/novaclu... Delia Smith also has a very different poached pears recipe that is more wintery and spicy http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/pe... I always use red wine instead of the Marsala so it's not as sweet. The pears go a lovely claret color.

         
        1. Hey everybody, don't forget the Creme Anglaise !

          1 Reply
          1. re: missclaudy

            My mom used to serve pears (basically poached in red wine syrup) with cream cheese. It's a nice contrast. I suppose now, one could explore fancier cheeses....