The place to share my adventures with cooking, baking, recipes, and food in general.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Poached Pears

Elegant Dining.
Exotic foods, wonderful tastes.
Something that often seems out of reach for most of us, and exclusively for just the rich. This is something that needs to change.
Fine Dinning is actually very simple. I find most of the best foods tend to be just that. Simple. Let the taste of the food speak for itself.
To quote Emeril - "Its Not Rocket Science!"
Poached pears have always seemed like something you will only find at a elegant restaurant. Time to make them at home.
With this in mind, I first visited the grocery store and came home with some wonderful Bosc pears. I peeled them with a potato peeler, then cored with a apple corer from the bottom. I left the stems on and placed them into a heavy pot. ( I love my Emeril Lagasse set!)
Now it was time to gather the other ingredients. Wine, something with a bit of flavor. I tend to use this brand so much in cooking, I keep a large container on hand.
Then more flavorings. You can use a variety of spices. I found a wonderful shop that had very aromatic vanilla beans, and heady smelling cinnamon sticks. For this dish I am using 1/2 a vanilla bean that has been sliced lengthwise open and 3 of the cinnamon sticks. Add one cup of sugar.
Place the spices into the pot with the pears, and add some wine. I tend not to measure the wine, as I add enough to cover the pears half way up in the pot. Since every time I make this I may make a different number of pears, and depending on the pot it varies. Use your best judgment.
Now add some water to bring the liquid just over the top of the pears. Bring the pot to a simmer, and let simmer until a sharp knife can pierce the pear flesh easily. Remove the pears with a slotted spoon. This is important as if you use tongs you may break the delicate pears in half or into chunks. This is okay, but if you are trying to make a great presentation, its not so good.

Bring the poaching liquid to a boil and let it reduce. Allow the pears to cool. The poaching liquid will take a while to reduce. Don't hurry this. It will become a thick and syrupy liquid, think food of gods. Let it cool too.

Once the pears are cool, mix some marscapone cheese ( you can use cream cheese in a pinch, but it will not be as good), a dash of vanilla, and some sifted powdered sugar. Using a pastry bag fill the bottom of the pear with this mixture.

For presentation, I use some champagne glasses and put a bit of the cheese mixture on the bottom to help keep the pear standing up. Place your pear in the glass and drizzle with some of the reduction syrup.
Pretty elegant?
This tastes even better than it looks.
Accept compliments graciously.