Poached Pears in Sweet Wine and Seasonal Fruits
This delectable dinner party standout yields elegant, ruby-red pears glazed with sweetly tart wine and surrounded by a colorful supporting display of other fresh fruits. A healthy and visually pleasing dessert for any occasion!
- 2 firm but ripe pears, peeled but stems left intact
- 0.5 cup sweet white or red wine, your choice
- 0.5 cup pear nectar
- 0.25 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 0.25 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 0.25 medium chopped peeled kiwi
- 0.25 cup quartered hulled strawberries
- Fresh mint sprigs
- Using a melon baller, remove the core from the bottom end of pears.
- Combine wine, pear nectar, and cinnamon stick in a medium pot. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to simmer. Add pears (liquid should cover pears at least halfway). Cover the pears with some parchment paper. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until pears are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes, turning pears halfway through.
- Transfer pears and cooking liquid to a large bowl. Cool completely.
- Drain poaching liquid back into the pot. Mix 2 tablespoons liquid with cornstarch in small bowl; return to pan. Boil until sauce thickens and is reduced to 1/2 cup, occasionally stirring about 20 minutes. Cool sauce to room temperature.
- Spoon sauce into two shallow bowls. Place pears atop sauce. Sprinkle kiwi, cantaloupe and strawberries around pears. Garnish with mint and serve.
- Leave firm, unripe pears at room temperature so that they can ripen.
- Check the neck for ripeness daily by applying gentle pressure to the neck, or stem end, of the pear with your thumb. If it yields to pressure, then it's ripe and ready to eat!
- Once the pear is ripe, it can be refrigerated to slow the ripening process and saved for use up to five days later.