Definitely poached pears are one top drawer dessert, and without a doubt it is one of the easiest desserts you could ever make. Poached pears with a red wine caramel and creme anglaise only takes time to make it nice. You will read a lot of recipes that will tell you to poach the pears for about 15 minutes or so but to really get them tender and tasty I suggest no less than 45 minutes at a nice steady simmer.
So how do you make these? Easy. Get some bosc pears and peel them and cut the bottom so they standup. Fill up a nice flat bottomed pot with red wine and about a 1/4 ratio of water to wine to cover the pears - so for example: one bottle of wine and a 1/4 bottle of water. Season the liquid with orange peel, lemon peel, cinnamon, star anise, clove, a bay leaf and some sugar - you need to taste the liquid to make sure it is tasty but dont go crazy tasting this delicious elixer or you wont have anything to poach the pears in. Simmer pears in this liquid for 45 minutes then let them cool in the poaching liquid over night. Update: Ciao Chow Linda asked if the poaching liquid travels up the pear and I now realize my photo might suggest that the pears remained upright but they do fall over and I did gently move them about during the simmering process
The next day gently remove the pears and reduce the liquid until it is a nice thick caramel and let the pears come up to room temperature.
This is a pear in the unreduced liquid.
Make a creme anglaise, which is a nice vanilla sauce made with milk, cream, egg yolks and vanilla bean. Put some of the wine caramel on a plate, put some creme anglaise on a plate and put a pear on top of the sauces and garnish with a mint leaf and you are good to go.
Invite 35 of your best friends over to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Poached pears will be on your menus - I guarantee it! Oh and dont forget to check out my latest post at Char-Broil.