Holiday Cookbook: Poached Pears Al Rosso
There are so many inspirations at farmers’ markets this time of the year, and so many opportunities to eat them! Fall to me is about colors; oranges, golds, reds, purples. All the glorious colors of leaves, which, if you dry them between sheets of waxed paper, weighted down by a heavy, large book, make beautiful holiday table decorations.
In this dessert recipe, we are playing with colors too. “Al rosso” means “in the red”; this version is courtesy of Chef Frank Zucchini from the Wednesday Town and County Farmers’ Market.
Poached fruit can be found on most French menus; it is healthy and low in fat, as well as pretty spectacular when you dress up the pears with special crémes or gláces.
Poached Pears Al Rosso – serves 4-6
- 1 tbs unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups Pinot Noir (red wine)
- 1/2 cup Port
- 1 3/4 cups filtered water
- 1 tsp orange zest
- small cinnamon stick
- 1 clove
- 4 -6 large, ripe pears, peeled and left whole with the stems on. You can also peel and halve if you like; just be sure and core them. Recommend Bosc or Anjou pears.
Place sugar, wine, Port, butter, water, orange zest, clove and cinnamon stick in a large enough saucepan or deep skillet that will hold all the pears in a single layer in the liquid. Heat over low, stirring constantly, until sugar melts, 5-7 minutes. Place pears into the liquid and simmer on low, turning several times, for 20-30 minutes, glazing the pears often during the cooking process. Remove from heat and let pears cool in their syrup for several hours.
Options for serving
- serve with little melon ball size scoops of vanilla bean ice cream or gelato
- reduce syrup by half and pour over pears. Serve with a dollop of mascarpone, créme fraiche or Devonshire cream
Another variation is to poach them in sweet white wine and serve them with some of the spiced syrup and a little almond gláce. Or, if you are really ambitious, you might make some of each for a red and white theme. In any case, you can’t go wrong here for a special dessert.
Written by Susan Cypert, Phoenix Farmers Market Examiner at Examiner.com