WRITTEN ON December 1st, 2009 BY Meredith AND STORED IN Dessert, Fruit, Holiday

I’m running around like a madwoman this week prepping for a 12 person four course plated meal tomorrow night and a baby shower this weekend.  I was excited when the hostess for the dinner tomorrow requested these gorgeous red wine poached pears for her dessert course.  Why?  I think poached pears present so elegantly, are beautiful and earthy, and yet I’ve never made them.

Oh, I’ve mulled it over a few times, for sure. But it’s always come down to this one sad little fact about me.  If it ain’t chocolate or pastry, who cares.  Just give me some coffee and another drink.

How blind I’ve been!  The pears are a feast for the eyes.  The ruby red syrup almost makes them glow. They’re fragrant and sweet; so impressive.  And easier to poach than a drunk sorority girl on bid day (I know.  I was one).  It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.  Try ’em for your next holiday dinner.  Ok, ok, serve them with a plate of cookies if you must…

Positively Blushing

Positively Blushing

Red Wine Vanilla Poached Pears (serves 6)
1 bottle dry red wine
3 cups water
1 vanilla bean, halved
Zest of 1 orange
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 cups sugar
6 Bosc pears, ripe but firm
Put first 7 ingredients in a large stock pot.  Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally to make sure sugar is melting.  Meanwhile, using a peeler, peel pears, leaving stems in tact. Cut a small amount off of the bottom of each pear, just so that it stands up on its own.  Place pears into poaching liquid, simmer about 40 minutes.  Remove pears, reduce liquid until thick and syrupy, about 20-30 minutes.  Can be made 1 day ahead, store pears in syrup.  To serve, rewarm liquid and pears together.  Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

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