It’s New Years Eve!! I can’t believe 2016 is almost over! I can’t say I’m sad to see the year go, I’m looking forward to 2017. As we look forward to the beginning of a new year, I hope to be able to keep creating and sharing what I make with everyone. I know my blog is still in the new, beginning stages, but I have enjoyed sharing and hopefully inspiring others to try something I’ve made. That being said, onto this recipe…
This past Thanksgiving we had one of my husband’s co-workers join us for dinner. He was generous enough to bring a bottle of wine as a gift. I already had wine in the refrigerator for dinner, so I set it aside to open should it have been needed. It wasn’t, so after it sitting on top of my refrigerator for weeks, I thought it would be a great wine to make poached pears with.
The research began with google, reading a bunch of different recipes and their reviews. There was a general consensus of things that need to happen to have a delicious poached pear. The first, you have to balance the sweetness of your wine with the amount of sugar you add. If you’re using a sweet wine, then you’ll need to drastically cut back on the sugar in the recipe, likewise, if you’re using a super dry wine, you will be good with the sugar amount listed. The second, don’t use super ripe pears, they will fall apart while they are poaching. Third, patience. These things take time. You can serve then after they’ve cooked and cooled, but they get better if they sit in their liquid overnight.
I didn’t follow a particular poached pear recipe, I kind of created my own as I was going along. I used bartlett pears, pinot noir, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and water. My inspiration for the poaching liquid was mulled cider. Those are the same flavors I would add to cider, so I thought it would translate well into a mulled wine, then into a poached pear.
Once the sugar was dissolved, I added the pears. The pears sat in the liquid for probably 50 minutes (I kind of forgot about them). One note, the liquid didn’t boil. I had the burner on 2 so it would steep, no bubbles!
After poaching, I put them and their liquid in a storage container and let them sit in the refrigerator overnight. They kept soaking up the wine and spice mixture as they chilled.
They ended up being a beautiful ruby color with a warm, mulled cider fragrance. You could taste the grape from the wine with the cinnamon and a hint of nutmeg. The flavors blended really well together and the pears held their shape, they didn’t turn to mush.
- 2 1/2 c. red wine
- 1 1/2 c. water
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 whole cloves
- 20 grates of whole nutmeg
- 4 pears
- Combine wine, water and sugar in a pot large enough to hold all the pears. Bring to a simmer until the sugar is dissolved.
- While the sugar is dissolving, peel and core the pears, either leave them whole or half them.
- Once the sugar is dissolved, add the cinnamon stick, cloves, nutmeg and pears.
- Poach the pears in the wine liquid until tender, about 50 minutes. Be sure the liquid does not bubble, keep it just under simmer so we don’t agitate the pears too much.
- You can serve the pears once they’ve cooled, but they are best when rested overnight in the poaching liquid.
What’s your New Year’s Resolution?