Pears Poached in Beaujolais
This is a beautiful dessert. The pears are very gently poached for just 10 minutes in red wine that is infused with peppercorns and cinnamon. Then they cool in the wine. The color is particularly striking, as the pears remain translucent and white on the inside but are infused with red wine on the surface.
- 6 firm but ripe pears, such as Comice or Bartlett
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 bottle Beaujolais (or other fruity red wine)
- 1/2 cup mild flavored honey, such as clover
- 2 tablespoons peppercorns
- 1 cinnamon stick
1. Fill a bowl with water, and add the lemon juice. Peel the pears, taking care to leave the stem intact, and place in the bowl of water.
2. Tie the peppercorns and cinnamon stick into a cheesecloth pouch, and place in a large saucepan. Add the wine and honey, and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer 10 minutes. Drain the pears and carefully add to the wine. Simmer very gently for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow the pears to cool in the liquid. Discard the cheesecloth bag.
3. Place the pears in serving dishes. Return the wine to the saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce by half of its volume. Spoon over the pears. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled.
Yield: Serves six.
Advance preparation: These hold well for several hours.