Treat of the Week: Poached Pears in Vanilla Sage Wine Sauce

Earlier this week we talked about finding your preference in wines.  Maybe you tried some out.  Maybe you have some left over. I wouldn’t, but that’s me.  Either way, get your hands on some white wine so you can make this treat.  You won’t be disappointed. 

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The poached pear is an eye-pleasing dessert that is far easier to make than your guests will believe could be true.  The flavors and textures meld so well here.  The texture of the pear, cream, and nuts are all very different but wonderful together.  The wine sauce is a bit tart and sweet at once. 

To make it even better you get a whole serving of fruit.  Now that’s a treat I can get behind.

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Poached Pears in Vanilla Sage Wine Sauce

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Before you start:

Choose pears that are firm to start.  You do not want to end up with mushy pears.

I used white zinfandel because I wanted the color, but you could use any white wine.  My only recommendation is that you choose a wine that leans more on the sweet side.

The ingredients:

  • 4 pears
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6-8 sage leaves
  • 4 oz heavy cream
  • 4 oz mascarpone cheese
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
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The method:

  1. Bring wine, water, cinnamon      stick, sage leaves, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla to a simmer in a      large saucepan over medium high heat.
  2. Peel the pears, leaving the      stem and a little of the peel at the top.
  3. Using a melon baller, scoop out      the core of each pear.
  4. Place pears in the hot liquid and      poach uncovered for 8-10 minutes.
  5. They are done when they are      soft, but not mushy.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, transfer      the poached pears to a serving plate. 
  7. Return the liquid to a low boil      and add sugar. Stir occasionally.
  8. Maintain at a low boil for      15-20 minutes until the liquid is reduced to about 1/3 its original      volume.
  9. It is ready when it coats the      back of the spoon.
  10. Remove from heat.  Remove the cinnamon stick and sage      leaves.
  11. Whip the heavy cream to stiff      peaks.
  12. Stir ¼ of the whipped cream      into the mascarpone.
  13. Gently fold the remaining      whipped cream into the mascarpone.
  14. Serve with a pear, a quarter of      the mascarpone cream and walnuts.
  15. Drizzle the wine sauce over the      top forming a small puddle around the pear.
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