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Riesling Poached Pears

Aired: Tuesday February 19, 2013 on 18 News at Noon
Cardamom Cream

4 ripe pears(Barlette, Bosc, or De’Anjou) 
2 cups granulated sugar
1 750ml bottle Riesling of choice
1 zest of a fresh lemon
3 cinnamon sticks
5-8 whole cloves
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

Topping Ingredients
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. ground cardamom

Basic Pear Preparation

Using the small end of a melon baller, remove the pear core from the bottom end of the ripe pears. Now peel the pears from the bottom towards the stem, making sure not to remove the stem. Set aside while you get the poaching liquid ready .

Pour an entire 750ml bottle of Riesling wine into a medium sauce pan. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Now, add the cracked pepper, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and lemon zest. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and add the pears, bottom side down. Allow the poaching liquid to reach the boiling point again, and set the timer for 25 minutes. After 15 minutes, rotate the pears so all sides poach evenly. Once the cooking time has completed, remove the sauce pan from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate 2-6 hours. This gives the pears the maximum opportunity to absorb all of the flavors in the poaching liquid.

Remove the pears from the liquid and set aside. Strain the remaining liquid thru a mesh strainer into a sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the liquid has reduced to about 1/3 of the original volume. The reduced liquid should be the consistency of a thick syrup or honey. Remove from the heat and start the topping. 

Topping Preparation and Presentation

Add the cream to a chilled bowl and whip until soft peaks appear. Add the powdered sugar and cardamom and beat an additional 45 seconds. Take one of the pears and slice, from top to bottom, along the center line. Place the pear halves, stacked against each other, in the center of a dessert plate. Drizzle the pear halves with the reduction and add a dollop of the cardamom cream. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, fresh mint, and lemon zest.
Yield:4 servings
Prep time:Active:20 minutes, Passive: 2-6 hours
Cook time:25 minutes ,poaching  20 minutes, reduction
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