Pears in red wine

Pears in red wine

By
From
Margaret Fulton Favourites
Serves
6
Photographer
Tanya Zouev and Armelle Habib

It is hard to resist buying pears when they first appear in shops again after being out of season. There’s something about the shape of a pear; it looks perfectly designed, and it is intriguing to see the difference in the shape of each variety. The william is an early-season pear, yellow tinged with pale green, and is usually very juicy. It is delicious eaten with gorgonzola cheese. The winter cole is smaller, round in shape and greenish turning to russet, and pale yellow when ripe. The beurre bosc is elongated with a russet skin turning to a dark cinnamon when mature. The packham, similar in appearance to the william, is greenish-yellow turning to light yellow when ripe. The packham is good for poaching or in a tart.

For poaching, choose pears that are under-ripe but not too hard. Hard pears never seem to soften no matter how long they have been cooked and they just don’t have the flavour of fruit that is just about to ripen.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
6 small, firm pears of even size
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup light dry red wine such as pinot noir
strip lemon rind
small stick cinnamon
1 teaspoon arrowroot, (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Peel the pears, but do not remove the stalks. Dissolve the sugar in the wine in a saucepan over a low heat. Add the lemon rind and cinnamon stick. Bring to the boil for 1 minute. Place the pears, stalks up, in a casserole dish and pour over the wine syrup. The pears should just fit so that they all stand up nicely, giving them a better shape when cooked.
  2. Cover the dish and bake for about 1 hour until tender. Remove and strain off the syrup. If necessary, reduce the syrup to make 1 cup. The syrup may be thickened with the arrowroot mixed with a little water. Add the arrowroot to the syrup and stir until almost boiling and quite clear.
  3. Arrange pears in a serving dish and spoon over the wine sauce. They should be served cold and may be accompanied by a bowl of whipped cream, thick cream or mascarpone.

Poached pears

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. Almost-ripe pears may be cooked on the stove-top in the prepared syrup over a low heat. Remove with a slotted spoon when tender, then reduce the syrup over a high heat and spoon over the pears.
Tags:
Margaret
Fulton
Favourites
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