Growing up eating a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean diet, the primary dessert in my family was fruit, perhaps with a side of cheese. During hot summer days my mother took breaks from cooking to give us a dinner of fruit, cheese, and bread–usually grapes or watermelon with farmer’s cheese. She would apologize that the house was too hot to cook in, but I looked forward to those sweet dinners so much! In the winter, my mom loved to bake apples or pears, or turn them into a compote (basically like a fruit pie without the crust)
I am grateful to my mamma for holding on to the whole foods based Mediterranean diet throughout our lives. When any kind of fruit is cooked, the flavors become more complex and nuanced, whether cherries, peaches, apples, or pears. When the fruits are in season, there is no need to add much sugar, as the ripening from the sun provides nature’s sweetness and flavor! Which brings me to today’s fun dessert, wine poached pears:
There is an art to cooking with wine, and different wines bring out the flavors of so many dishes whether sweet or savory. Red wine in particular is great because it opens up the flavors of warming spices, like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and star anise. One you simmer the red wine and spices, it makes a perfect glaze for sweet fruits like pears, which take on a spiced cider flavor and aroma.
The appearance of this dessert is also dramatic, making for an elegant way to entertain guests. This is also a great way to use up any leftover wine.
The inspiration for today’s recipe comes from Amy, the owner of LaBelle Wineries. As a winemaker, she has become an expert on how to use wines for planning menus, for weddings, dinners, and parties. Hope you enjoy this new video showing the technique below!
WINE POACHED PEARS
- 1- 4 pears
- ½ bottle red wine
- 2 sticks of cinnamon
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp cardamom
- Add the wine through the cardamom into a saucepan, and simmer for at least 10 minutes. Add the pears and simmer for another 25 minutes. You can serve this dessert warm or cold, with the addition of ice cream or mascarpone cheese.