Friday, October 21, 2011

Wine Roasted Pears

This is a very light and super easy dessert that doesn’t require much forethought or lots of bowls and mixers. And since pears are coming into full blossom, it’s a great way to showcase their gorgeous simplicity.

These pears are roasted in a white wine baste sweetened with honey and sugar. You can serve the pears with a simple dollop of Crème Chantilly (a fancy term for whipped cream sweetened with sugar and flavored with a bit of vanilla), sweetened crème fraiche, vanilla ice cream or a slice of your favorite cheese. Very simple yet extremely satisfying fare.

Bench notes:
- Choose pears that are ripe but fairly firm. These are Bartletts.
- I used Viognier wine but a nice Sauvignon Blanc would be great.
- Use a baking dish just big enough for the fruit so that the wine syrup isn’t too shallow, which may cause it to reduce too much. Check the pears every few minutes toward the end of roasting to ensure the liquid hasn’t evaporated at the edges and started to burn. If you notice it’s reducing too much, add a bit of water and keep your eye on it.
- For an herbal backnote, add a sprig of thyme or rosemary after the syrup has been reduced and steep for about 15 minutes. Remove the herbs, pour the syrup over the pears and roast.
- This will serve 3 whole pears or 6 pear halves or any combination thereof.
- Try this with a fresh goat cheese or Humboldt Fog is delicious, as is Alta la tur, Robiola Bosina, Cana de Cabra, bloomy rind Cravanzina, salty blue Valdeon, Roquefort or any creamy blue.

Wine Roasted Pears

Serves 3 - 6

2 C white wine, such as Viognier or Sauvignon Blanc
1 C water
2 1/2 T honey
1/4 C sugar

3 ripe but firm pears

Combine the white wine, water, honey and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Keep at a low boil until reduced by half, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Peel, halve and core the pears. Arrange them cut side down in a baking dish small enough to just fit the pear halves. Pour the wine syrup over the pears and roast until tender, about 40 minutes, basting and turning the pears occasionally. Keep a close eye on them the last 15 minutes or so to be sure the syrup isn’t reducing too quickly. Add a splash of water if necessary.

Serve warm with desired garnish of whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, crème fraiche or a slice of your favorite cheese.


Elly McCausland said...

Beautiful! I love that last photo and how the pears have turned slightly burnished and caramelised at the edges.

Anonymous said...

Hmm - I make a similar thing with quince, you just need to cook it a bit longer. It is also nice to fill the core with crushed nuts and currants or raisins.

anno said...

mmm.... have always poached pears in wine. That color you get from roasting, though, looks amazing; definitely worth trying.