Monday, March 19, 2007
Pairs Pears, #4
Poached pears are an excellent and very flexible dessert:
Peel a pear for each diner. Use any kind of pear, but keep in mind that a firm pear works especially well. Keep the stem intact if you can. If you are choosing in advance and are really picky, try to pick out pears that stand upright well.
Heat a liquid (red wine? cranberry juice? white wine? water? ginger ale?) to a good simmer. (If you use a deep red wine, you'll get an absolutely gorgeous ruby-colored pear.)
Add some sugar (or honey? or molasses? or maple syrup?) if you are using a tart or flavorless or non-sweet liquid. Or don't.
Add some seasonings if it pleases you (ginger? cinnamon? lemon peel? orange peel? vanilla extract?).
When the liquid is good and just bubbling, add peeled pears and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Take the pears out at that point and turn up the heat. Allow the liquid to boil down to a syrup.
Serve the pears and syrup at any temperature--possibly with cream, buttermilk, yogurt, kefir, creme fraiche, whipped cream, or ice cream. Whatever you have. It is also glorious by itself.