Pears were on sale last week. We had a ton. When I heard that this month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free was themed Spiced Desserts the wheels started spinning. And once I mentioned the idea to Mike, there was no way I was not making poached pears.
- 4 ripe, firm pears
- 1 750-ml bottle blackberry wine
- 2 cups water
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- 8 blackberries (for garnish)
- Place wine, water, cinnamon, cloves, and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with cold water and a couple tablespoons of lemon juice. Core the pears from the bottom. Slice a little off the end so that the pear can stand up, then peel. Place each pear in the water after peeling to keep from browning.
- Once the wine mixture is boiling, reduce the heat, and add the pears. Simmer the pears until soft (15-45 minutes), making sure to turn them periodically if they’re not entirely covered by the wine mixture.
- Remove the pears from the pot, and set aside to cool. Return the pot to high heat. Let the wine mixture boil until it’s reduced by half. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- While the syrup is reducing, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or double boiler. When pears are cool enough to handle, spoon or pipe the white chocolate into the pears.
- Once the syrup is room temperature, place one pear in the middle of a small plate. Spoon syrup over the top. Garnish with berries and serve.
With regards to the cooking time, the pears will probably be sufficiently soft in around 15-20 minutes. However, the longer they soak, the more they color. I let them simmer about 45 minutes. You could go even longer. If you want them really dark, you can actually refrigerate them overnight in the wine, then boil it down the next day.
There’s no need to be married to the idea of blackberry wine. If it can’t be located, look for other fruit wines. Or you could substitute red wine. If it’s a dry red, you’ll probably want to add 1/4-1/2 cup more sugar. You could even try fruit juice. (Cranberry juice sounds nice.)
While the syrup was thicker than the wine itself, it was not the consistency you probably think of when you hear the word syrup. If you want a thicker consistency add more sugar. Any leftover syrup can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days. Maybe to be used as a topping for ice cream or other fruit?
I used my 1/4 teaspoon to dig out the core. Many people suggest a melon baller. Or a corer. That’s probably easiest. But you need to own one. I’m also lacking a pastry bag. But I do own a spoon and fingers. While piping the chocolate into the pears using a pastry bag might be a bit neater and easier, a spoon got the job done.